A definition of grace

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The past few days I’ve felt as if I am running a marathon, but at a sprint speed.

“Crazytown” is what I lovingly and jokingly refer to my present life circumstances. Moving houses, renos at both the old and new place, painting the kids’ rooms at the new house…. makes for just…well… chaos. I have been trying to embrace the chaos, rather than rant, rave and fight against it. Trying to find the moments of joy amidst the silliness and mess of my life.

A few examples from the past few days: hugs between siblings; D trying to read his Bible to E (bless his efforts!!);  a rainstorm; holding K on my lap watching the storm rage; friends to help with kids; painting on my own; promise of a new house, new space; tea from a new neighbour.

And yesterday’s big one: grace, defined.

I was hurtling down the street in the van, on my way from dropping 2 kids somewhere, with my third in the van, needing to get a birthday gift before the party began (countdown on, t minus 1.5 hours). Feeling stress. Thinking about too many things: the floor tile decision, is the paint too light for E’s room?, my plan for later on, what’s for dinner…

I notice the yellow light coming up. Made a bad decision and put my foot to the gas instead of the brake, hoping the yellow would hold. It turned red, and at my speed, I continued through…

…right in front of a police car…

I was horrified and terrified, unsure about what to do. I kept driving, hoping that perhaps the police would just let me slip by… until I saw the lights in my rearview mirror. As I reached the next red, I saw them go off. Oh, ok, I thought, perhaps he’s changed his mind. The light turned green and I pressed the gas only to hear the “whoop, whoop” sound and lights behind me. My heart skipped a beat. I pulled to the side and the policeman approached my open window.

He asked me if I knew why he had pulled me over. I readily admitted my crime and sheepishly handed over my info. He then asked if there was a reason that I chose to go through the red light. He even informed me that they had green facing them while I whipped through. (Oh man, really? Was it really that bad?) I stumbled on my words as I admitted that no, I didn’t have a reason for running a red.  (…just a lot of things on my mind and a momentary lapse in good judgement…)

After several minutes, during which I preoccupied my mind with looking at paint chips and referring to my notebook containing info on floor tiles and wishing that I was someone (or somewhere) else, he returned, my papers in hand.

“Mrs. Rekker, I don’t know that a $325 fine would do you much good today”  *gasp* “but I need you to drive more carefully, especially with a little one in the car.”

I managed to squeeze out a thank you but the actual magnitude of my relief was larger than Niagara Falls at that moment.

And then it hit me: it was a perfect example of the grace that God gave when Jesus gave His life for me.

Rom.5:6-8      You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I had sinned. I was caught. I deserved punishment for my misdeeds. But I did not receive what I deserved.

No, instead I received a gift. A gift of grace.

Eph. 2:8 “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”

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