ALL GRACE, ALL THINGS
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in you all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)
There’s a scene in one of the I Love Lucy series where Ricky, Lucy, Ethel and Fred are packing for their car trip to California. The boy are extremely happy with the Ricardo’s new spacious car, it’s massive trunk and roomy interior. The boys had carefully packed the trunk and were adjusting it when the girls come down with a few more things.
Ricky and Fred get slightly irritated but began shifting things around. Much to their horror, when they emerged from what they thought was the final suitcases, they saw a mound of ‘necessary stuff’ piled high on the sidewalk.
Needless to say, the boys went ballistic, and Fred decided to take over. His attempt was an hilarious gag, complete with conga drum strapped to the outside of the gorgeous new car and a small peep hole through the window in which to see. It was then they realized they could ship their necessary items ahead, and bring only what was needed with them for the drive to California from New York.
Having all we need for a trip means different things to different people. For some, the minimalists, only basics are allowed. And used. No fluff, frills. For others, many items are packed, multiple bags, cases, boxes, etc., are lined up ready to be packed. It’s the case of the ‘just in case’ syndrome. Lots of fluff, lots of frills.
Neither is right, neither is wrong. Just different.
With God, His packing list is quite different than mine. Jesus’s was different when He sent out the twelve apostles –
(Jesus said), “Take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.” Matthew 10:10 (NIV)
These men traveled light and upon returning the testimonies they shared of the movement of God is incredible. Not one mention of things needed or missed. They had everything they needed.
What was it?
All grace. In all things. At all times. Which produced every good work.
All grace. Thinking about this one necessity is overwhelming. Every facet of grace, every layer, every corner, every step. All. This will require much meditation to get the flavor sunk deep as it is more than the first taste on the tongue, this one requires savoring.
All things. As in all things in my messy life? Yes. God gives all grace even for this. Because He is in all things, He gives His grace where needed and our lives need His grace. What exactly is grace? In Greek, the word is charis, and Strong’s Concordance defines it as “graciousness (as gratifying), or manner or act, especially the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life, including gratitude.” Other definitions include that which gives joy, pleasure, delight and sweetness.
Yes, God does give grace. He gives us all grace to point us toward Jesus Who is the ultimate grace. Everything we need is found in Him.
How does this practically work out? The apostles learned first-hand God supplies all. They had their task, their mission, and God would supply for their needs. They went out boldly with no fear for their needs being met. We are told very little of their trip, but what we are told is completely astonishing. The Spirit moved, people were healed, lives were saved and needs met.
Have you seen this in your life? It is a challenging place to be, but God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:5), so He can and still does give us all we need when we rely on Him. The catch? Faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
When God gives us the tap, the nudge, the assignment, He is not waiting for our approval, nor our excuses, nor our list of necessities. He is looking for our willing hearts to step out in faith, even if we are unsure of the details. We have nothing to fear because God is at the helm and He is leading.
Years ago, our family was experiencing financial strain, much like the many folks did during the recession. Our budget was tight and it was Christmas. My son really wanted Christmas lights for the house and ours had seen better days and were broken. While getting the mail one day, he discovered an unexpected check. We had new lights that year.
I believe it was that same year, we had another miracle. I always made matching pajamas for the family, but this particular year, our budget did not include many yards of fabric necessary for this tradition. My oldest daughter was particularly discouraged by this sad news. While up in our barn one afternoon however, she discovered more than enough (about 15 yards) of matching Christmas fabric to make the jammies, and she also discovered a smaller piece of red flannel, which I made another pair of jammies for her as a reminder of God’s provisions for our family.
Ok. I know jammies are not the same as life-saving healing, nor are Christmas lights. But to little children, they are. It’s when we see God move in small and grand ways, we recognize His Presence in our lives. Whether we are actively going on a mission, or living in our home, God gives everything we need, for all things.
To abound in every good work.
That Christmas bolstered our faith as individuals and as a family. We still talk about it. Does God still move today? Yes. A thousand times yes. He provides everything we need.
It’s our perspective which might need adjusting. We may want the leeks, when God provides the beets. We may desire a certain job, when God provides one where His people are who need you. Or, we may think our life would be perfect if we just had _______. God sees that line, but He is limitless and beyond our lines.
He gives all so we may abound. We may live in abundance. Of grace. Of love. Of mercy. Of life. Of Jesus.
Do you have a need? Why not bring it before the Father of the heavenly lights (James 1:17) and leave it there. Then wait for Him to act. Truly wait. In the process, give thanks. Worship. Be still.
When the all comes, be in awe of God. Be in awe of His goodness. Be in awe of His grace in your life. And thank Him.
Father God, I do thank You for all You give to me. Everything I need when I need it and then some. Thank You for the grace which abounds, the love which is abundant and the opportunities to do the good work You have set aside for me to do. I love You and am so thankful for Your Presence in my life. In the name of Your Son, Jesus. AMEN