A Picture of Grace

Recently my daughter and I spent ten days in Roatan, Honduras. We both love to scuba dive, and while we were there, we got our Advanced Open Water Certification. In all, we each did 15 dives off of the 40 foot dive boat, Wish You Were Here. They were great dives in a virtual paradise of undersea life.

On one of those adventures, I got an enduring picture of Grace, (as in “By Grace you are saved, thru faith, and  this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”)

Every morning, our boat was full of divers. On board we separated into groups, based on our abilities and the purpose of our dives. Getting so many individuals in the water takes time, and frequently, those of us who were first had to wait in the water while the others put on their gear and jumped in. One morning, after jumping off the boat, I realized that the current was very strong. Before I’d cleared my mask and checked my gear, I was further from the boat than I intended. To get back, I’d have to swim up stream. I filled my BC, rolled over on my back and began kicking.

Moments later, when I checked on my progress, I realized that I’d been swept even further away. Now, this wasn’t a crisis, mind you. I wasn’t going to drown. No one was going to lose me in the ocean. But I wanted to stay with my group. I wanted to drop underwater with all of them nearby, so that we could dive together along the reef. I kicked harder.

It didn’t take much time before I realized that I couldn’t make it back to the boat on my own. I continued to drift away. In the midst of wondering what I should do, a giant wave came along and tossed me toward the boat. At that moment, I kicked with all my might and to my surprise I arrived exactly where I needed to be.

Without that wave, all the effort in the world wasn’t getting me to the boat. All the wishing and hoping wasn’t moving me forward. But the wave provided power beyond my own. It came at just the right moment, and it stopped my wayward path.

That, my friends is Grace. It is all around us. It is God’s power, made available to humans, which enables us to change direction. Whether you need to quit drugs, stop watching porn, stop cheating on your wife, or move toward God, begin a new life, open a new chapter, and start a new habit, God has the power to pick you up and move you forward. Like a wave tosses you toward a boat, God’s grace can put you where you need to be. It offers power beyond your own.

He loves to provide the Grace when you need it. You have only to ask. (Some believers think of Grace only as a “salvation event.” It’s not. It’s the means by which we continue in our faith. It’s an everyday event, whether or not you see it.)

Someday, perhaps, I’ll tell you about a time when God’s Grace changed the course of my life.  In the meantime, what about you? Have you ever been carried by a wave of Grace? Care to share?

Bette

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