I love the word grace. I love the idea of grace. I have it tattooed across my ribs in a spiral, cursive font. I write it over and over again my my devotions each morning. I am forever grateful for it.
I am not very good and putting it into practice.
Because along with grace I also love justice. I love being right. I am more stubborn about winning than showing grace. (Wow that was hard to write).
And what I am learning about grace is that it is not something you can wake up and just do. No matter how much I pound my fists and stamp my feet, I cannot magically become a more grace filled person.
But when Jesus gives you the opportunity to show grace, friends, it feels so much better than being right.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were right but you wish you hadn't been? Have you ever felt worse for winning? Ever wondered why walking away victorious doesn't feel as good as you thought it would while you were fighting?
Maybe, being right isn't something we can do for ourselves. Maybe that's not the point. Maybe the fight isn't ours to fight, and all we are asked to do is be the grace giving, loving children that our Heavenly Father showed us how to be. He never asked us to fight for Him. He doesn't need to.
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still - Exodus 14:14.
Did you catch that? He's fighting for you. And for me. In all of the places that feel unfair and unjust, He is fighting. In all the places where we have been wronged and hurt, He is fighting. In all the places where we have hurt others, He is fighting. And He's already won. His victory for us might not look like how we would want to win, but it is still victory. And it is so much better coming from the perfect Creator of our story, than from our imperfect selves who mess it up.
Sometimes we forget this, because being still in the midst of a fight usually means you won't win. We forget that the fight was never ours in the first place. We forget that we don't need to fight for God to reveal His plans for redemption and restoration and new beginnings to us, we simply need to be still and wait on Him.
I know that God loves justice. But I also know He loves grace. And He is equally, completely, and perfectly both of those things. Full of justice. Full of grace.
I am not equally and completely both. In fact, most days, I am completely and imperfectly full of justice, and completely lacking in grace.
But if He's fighting for me, then I don't have to choose being right over showing grace. If He's fighting for me then I can respond with grace always and trust that He will come through for me.
It won't always make sense. We live in a world that says to stay angry, stay bitter, get even. We live in a world that justifies hate over forgiveness. We live in a world that is selfish, and grace is the complete opposite of that.
Maybe that's the point. Maybe God wants to reveal Himself in the places that don't make sense. In the places that seem counterculture to what we know of our world. Maybe in all of that confusion, we might just see Him more clearly.