A Journey of Faith

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Common Sense and an Uncommon GOD

Theologian and ethicist Lewis B. Smedes (1921–2002) explains why we call grace amazing.
Grace is amazing because it works against the grain of common sense. Hard-nosed common sense will tell you that you are too wrong to meet the standards of a holy God; pardoning grace tells you that it’s all right in spite of so much that is wrong. Realistic common sense tells you that you are too weak, too harassed, too human to change for the better; grace gives you power to send you on your way to being a better person. Plain common sense may tell you that you are caught in a rut of fate or futility; grace promises that you can trust God to have a better tomorrow for you than the day you have made for yourself.

This was in one of the daily devotionals that I receive each day. It struck me as very profound, yet so simple. It is so easy to be tempted to look at our faith with a common sense mentality. We are so use to basing our human relationships on what we see and what makes sense, that we forget that GOD doesn't work that way. HE doesn't see us the same way those around us do. HE loves us in spite of who we are, not because of what we do.
Sometimes I feel like life is a puzzle. Not a mystery kind of puzzle, but a put it together to get a beautiful picture kind of puzzle. There is the piece that is submission to HIS will. The piece that is acknowledging HIS omnipotence. And the piece that is accepting HIS grace without fear or doubt. There are the pieces that are learning, and trusting, and serving. And praying, and sharing our faith with those around us. Some of these pieces are easy to fit into the puzzle. They come naturally and just feel right. Others are harder. They take hard work and patience and perseverance to make them feel like they are a part of the puzzle, a part of who and what we are. But GOD says that HE will reward those who don't give up, who keep running the race. We can't try to apply common sense to an uncommon God. It just doesn't work. HE's too big and His love is too big and His grace is too big.
I think too, that it's easy to make excuse. We think that we are too unprepared, or too unequipped to serve HIM effectively. We think that we have to do everything 'just right' or we shouldn't do it at all. But it doesn't matter if we can't do it, because HE can. HE can calm our fears, HE can strengthen our resolve. And HE can, and does, equip us to do whatever it is HE wants us to do. And, I've discovered, HE is far more stubborn (can we call GOD stubborn???) than any of us can ever dream of being. HE knows what is best for us, and won't give up on us, even when we fight HIM every step of the way. Thank goodness!!

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