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A few years ago I got one of those pink-sherbet colored phones. What a loss when I couldn’t catch her before she took a nosedive into the pool during Eli’s swimming lesson. A few months later, my replacement phone literally jumped from my back pocket and into the toilet bowl (pre-anything, I promise). Then after purchasing  a cool new iPhone, I placed it in the cup holder where a bottle of water had spilled overnight. It wasn’t until I pulled into the office and picked up my phone that I realized it was dripping…and dead.

Late Sunday we were driving home to Nashville from Georgia. Instead of putting my iPhone on my lap, I sleepily put it into a half empty cup of coffee that I insisted on drinking without a lid. My ninety-two cent cup of coffee will end up costing me dearly.

Me + All the stupid stuff I’ve done over the years = A lot of wasted money and time

I’ve locked my keys in the car while pumping gas—misplaced my keys at the mall, called a locksmith to open the car and make a new key, then found the keys under a pile of clothes in the junior department after he finished—I bounced a check or two—lost my debit card (forty times at least)—lost my check book—lost my wallet—lost my keys again—lost my phone again—lost my license—bought a greeting card business because I heard about it on WLIX—dropped my phone down the air conditioning duct—drove my husband’s car for the first time and ran into the curb at Walgreens causing a flat tire—backed into my husband’s truck—refused to read a map or ask for directions only to go three hours out of the way—purchased a dog with a credit card…

Must I prolong the agony?

My first comment to Regi on Monday was, “Just buy me a cheap flip phone with no capabilities to do anything.” Actually I deserve nothing less than a beeper at this point.

Why do we expect punishment when we mess up—because we don’t deserve any better? Because we’re so pitiful and grace applies to everyone except us? Because in everything from petty phone disasters to life altering decisions we should have used more wisdom or showed some restraint?

Maybe it’s because we have lost sight of the enormity of grace.

“But God gives us even more grace…” James 4:6 (NCV)

It doesn’t say that God gives us a measured bit of grace. Instead, James very purposefully uses the present tense of “gives” which can only mean one thing. That He will never tire of dishing out grace every time I need it. No matter how many times I ask!

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you…” 1 Peter 5:10 (CEB)

And after I’ve gone a round or two against myself, it finally registers what Peter meant when he penned those words (and with a little help from www.Dictionary.com):

  • He establishes me: He causes me to be accepted or recognized
  • He restores me: He gives back; make return or restitution of (anything taken away or lost)
  • He empowers me: He gives power or authority to me; He authorizes, especially by official or legal means
  • He strengthens me: He makes me become stronger
I know, I know. This is a silly little story. But if it caused you to rethink the wonder of grace then I’m glad my phone died. I simply think we must grasp the truth that grace isn’t just about accepting His forgiveness, but is allowing God to do a work in us in spite of our big mess-ups.

 

“So now what,” you may ask. Well, of course I’m going to get another phone—and of course there’s the likely possibility that something will eventually happen to it. But in the purest form of grace, my husband will make a trip to the Apple store, ask what color I’d like this time, (and possibly insist on a waterproof case), then pay for it. All without saying, “This is your last chance,” or “I can’t believe you’re making me do this,” or worse, “You don’t deserve this.”

And guess what? I’ll walk away from yet another fumble in life all the richer because I experienced the power of grace. Again.

How about you? Have you experienced grace lately?

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15 Comments

  1. Elina on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

    Kim, you have a way of making it simple to understand. I’m having my husband read this post tonight! Not just for my sake, but for our children. Thanks!

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

      Elina, don’t think I have the showing grace thing down. If anything, I have a long way to go!! My husband is graceful naturally and I’ve been showered with tons of grace my whole life so one would think I’ve got it down. :) When it comes to our children, I as a mom have to look for ways to remember to show grace when they are least expecting it. Prayerfully they too will realize the power of grace and show it to others. Thanks for reading, as always. Your words to me are always full of grace!

  2. Kim Stevens on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

    U are making me think today way more than I want to. This is tough for me. I love u and thank you for being just who you are.

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

      My sweet friend, thank you for taking a minute to read my ramblings! Now I can’t figure out why we struggle so with grace when we’ve been shown so much? I can’t figure it out and it is tough for me as well. Don’t overthink it though…really! xoxoxoxoxox

  3. Donna on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

    And thank you Lord that Grace is new every day!!! Thanks so much for sharing this reminder. Now if I can just remember when I hesitate to forgive, how much I am forgiven every day. Can I share this with my running group?

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

      Absolutely! I love when people share! For the record, just know that I am a work in progress, that’s for sure. Just when Regi shows grace to me, and just when I’ve felt it showered upon me from God, I go and act like the world is coming to end and can’t seem to pour it out myself. I’m glad I could be a reminder to you, though!

  4. Tanya Sykes on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

    Oh Kim, I’m so happy when you share your heart–it’s always so good.

    XOX,

    Tanya

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

      I can’t wait until you’re in Nashville and you get to sit on my front porch and we can share our heart! I so appreciate you and your kind words. They are always a blessing. See you soon! :)

  5. robin colvin on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

    Kim. Wow! Poignant. Beautiful. Well said. Grace is the biggest mystery to me and yet, unfathomable without Love. (another complex mystery). Thank you for the reminder that He gives Grace daily, instead of letting us get tokens on Sundays for church attendance, or when we earn it by studying the Word. He gives. We receive. The cell phone analogy was so perfect too! I will always replace my daughters’ phones when they “malfunction”, because I want the ability to keep in touch with them. So God’s grace makes a way for us to be free to commune with Him!

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

      That’s beautiful, Robin. You get it!! I guess the mystery is just for us to receive and stop trying to figure out…but we’re moms. And that’s tough for us to do! Love you!

  6. Cynthia gibbs on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

    Kim, once again you’ve given me hope and blessings..

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 12, 2012 remarked #

      I love you, my friend! Praying for you and trusting that God pours His grace on you in huge amounts! Thanks for reading…

  7. auntie jj on the September 13, 2012 remarked #

    Did you try rice to dry it? OK, I feel your pain, I feel better because I have done the same thing: with a camera in lemonade, phones in water of all favors, and yes GRACE is essential so we don’t hurt ourselves……love u

  8. Karri Misky on the September 16, 2012 remarked #

    So, so true. Very well said. But I will have to say, “I thought I was bad”. I back into things, alot. I tore my side rearview mirror off backing out of the garage $500. I’ve bounced checks, misplaced my debit card a few times, but it always found itself back to me, thanks to honest people. Oh, I did lose my Sam’s card with credit capabilities in the parking lot of Sams while strapping a mattress to the roof of my CRV. I didn’t know it was gone until I went to use it again. Thought I better call the credit company. Someone put over $1,000 on it, but the credit company was nice enough to forgive it. We have really good husband. Love you!

    • Kimberlee Stone on the September 17, 2012 remarked #

      Karri, we are soul sisters no doubt! I heard one of my favorite pastors say recently that grace doesn’t teach us that we can do whatever we want, but instead it teaches us to live right! And for that, I am so grateful. (And very very grateful for our wonderful husbands who know how to show grace!). Love you too!

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