“But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
I’m part dirt. I’m of the Earth. I can sit here, like I am now, at the lowest part of a real, physical valley and look up at the peaks of real, physical mountains. As I’m looking at them, I know that I can climb any one of them starting from where I’m sitting right now. For one, I’m hard wired for mountain climbing. My frame is small, but strong and my mind is relentless when it comes to difficult tasks. I’ve almost become cocky when I think about it because I believe that I can climb any mountain any time I want to.
I’m part spirit. I’m made for things not of this Earth. Created in the image of God and being born again has destined me to scale mountains I can’t see. They are there, none the less, they just can’t be experienced through the five senses and are not conquered by any physical qualities that I may have. These mountains require faith, the evidence of the things unseen waiting for us at the top because there is no time frame, no physical distance at which we reach it. They require our spirit which isn’t as conditioned as our physical bodies are, at least most of us. This makes the task more daunting, and in reality, impossible.
Grace is what takes us beyond ourselves and our capabilities to enable us to scale whatever mountains there are and do whatever it is that God has called us to do. Let’s face it, He does not call us to do anything that would comfortably fit within our own talents and abilities. He calls us to live our lives in ways that proclaim the reality of who He is and what He’s done. This is impossible only by our natural selves. We need grace to be that extension from the natural to something so much bigger than we are.
Grace isn’t earned. It doesn’t come in one color, shape, or flavor. It isn’t for one person and not for another. It is just for us to accept. It is available to us by the first act of grace, the perfect marriage of dirt and spirit, the birth of our Savior.
Grace doesn’t keep bad stuff from happening. We get sick. We lose loved ones. Our hearts get broken. Our cars break down. Our homes fall apart. Grace gives us the strength to withstand. It gives us the tenacity to try again. It gives us the selflessness to forgive. Through grace we have the humor to laugh. We have the hope to move forward. It turns grief to joy; from ashes to beauty. It is this that people, who have yet to accept the Ultimate Grace, see. It is what they want.
Grace gives us the gumption to get up, knock the dust off and go again. It is by grace that we overcome mountains, tear down walls, and fulfill our purpose. It is grace that brought us to our knees in belief in the first place. It is what can make a tiny woman at her lowest point stand tall like a mighty tower. It is what makes us, even in our darkest moments, shine like stars.