From the FULLNESS
of His grace,
we have all
one blessing after another.
John 1:16, NIV
If you look through our travel scrapbook (from the days when I had time to scrapbook), you’d notice a theme. We’ve been to a lot of beaches, at least for common folk. And we love them all, or at least this girl loves them all. My husband cares about rideable waves and surf zones. I’m just there to take it all in~let the waves lull me into a blissful, relaxed state, and take a daily run down the beach. When I get to run down the beach, instead of down the road, I feel like I could keep running FOREVER…or approximately 5 miles, whichever ends first.
So what does John 1:16 (above) have to do with the beach? According to my buddies Walvoord and Zuck, even waves are made of grace. Actually, what they say (in The Bible Knowledge Commentary) is that one blessing after another come to Christians “as waves continue to come to the shore.” Now that’s a description I can understand!
The Amplified version of John 1:16 says,
For out of His fullness (abundance)
we have all received (all had a share and we were all supplied with)
one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing
and even favor upon favor and gift (heaped) upon gift.
Grace, blessings, gifts–all these roll in constant, as waves to the seashore. I think of standing on my favorite beach under an ever-changing sky, staring out over miles of blue I can’t see the end of, the waves like background music.
But this is not the way life feels from day to day. Rare moments of stillness or glimpses of beauty don’t trip me up. It’s the days I feel I’m running hard through sand that sticks, swimming tangled up in seaweed toward shore. And I admit, I don’t persevere through these gracefully.
Earlier this week, I filled my husband’s ears with just how hard this is (my life), when the kids won’t listen and I have so.much.to.do.it.hurts, and the calendar is packed, and there’s only so much time. While delivering this speech, I didn’t think about power in the waves I love so much or blessings that are mine.
He kindly led me away from the emotional ledge I sat on, and later, my Bible reading challenged me with the way Jesus handled “problems”. In John 6, the disciples had a huge, hungry crowd to feed and only a tiny amount of food to feed them. But BEFORE Jesus fixed this problem, he did one thing I easily forget.
He gave thanks.
I don’t know that I swim less tangled or run less hindered, but when I stop and give thanks, I start to see the graces more clearly and I receive them.
Is this it? This small thing, the difference between walking down the beach focused on sand beneath feet or gazing out at sun-sparkled, glorious waves of grace…
Help me, Lord, to just STOP. Thank you for this life, full and blessed, from the fullness of Your grace. Amen