One time, I flew to Venezuela.
When I was 16.
And, no, I have no idea what my parents were thinking.
It was for a mission trip, in their defense, but I didn’t know anyone else going and ended up having no way to call my parents the entire time I was gone. I couldn’t even let them know that I had arrived safely. The first night there I was horribly homesick and so worried about not being able to call that I sobbed into my pillow and plotted how to break a bone so they would send me home.
One week later, however, when I finally made it home (all bones intact) my parents weren’t even angry about me not calling. It had been my first great adventure and they could’ve ruined it with a chewing out that I certainly deserved, but they didn’t. They were just happy I was back.
Such a small thing, really, but it still stands out in my memory.
Such a sweet taste of grace.
We got the bill for the CT Scan last week. I didn’t end up crying. I thought I would, remember? But I didn’t. Instead, I think I actually laughed. By medical standards, that sucker was a bargain. I’ve had teeth cleanings that have cost more.
And speaking of clean, a friend cleaned my entire house—far, far better than just the “straightening” that I usually give it—while I was in the hospital with Nate. Which was both wonderful and embarrassing since I have no recollection of what it looked like when we left in the middle of the night to have the kid. I suspect it was a teeny bit messy.
(I had planned on picking up before we left, honest I did, but things did not go quite as planned. Our Little Fish made his inaugural appearance in the world a quick seven minutes after we walked in the ER doors. Delaying our trip to the hospital so I could tidy the place up a bit would’ve been, well, a poor decision in the end.)
And I didn’t have to cook for nearly a month after his birth. Because I have amazing people in my life, that’s why.
And there’ve been carpools and babysitters and stockpiles of toilet paper and diapers and donated breast milk when I couldn’t give my own and an offer to fly here just to be an extra set of hands if I needed it and I think she was actually serious.
And Christian, sweet, fearsome, how-am-I-going-to-survive-this-kid-Christian, is finally, finally potty training.
This is grace, friends.
Though I absolutely believe that thoughts of Jesus and what he’s done for us should be on our minds before our feet hit the floor in the morning, sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
That kind of Grace, the big kind—the life-changing, hope-offering, purpose-giving kind—can, occasionally, get a little lost in the shuffle. Yes, there are moments when it stuns me speechless, but, yes, there are also moments, I admit, when I forget the whole incredible thing.
It comes in spurts, this memory loss. Like when I get distracted by my own problems. Or when life lacks excitement. When I can’t discern the future. Or when the day-to-day feels like it’s taking years. When the worship service is over. When I am waiting on God. When life isn’t good. When Big Grace seems too good for me.
Those are days when I must take sips.
And God is faithful. He does not withhold when we are Grace-parched.
He offers these sips—these tastes of grace—to anyone who chooses to take them.
The generosity of friends, the love of parents, the unexpected financial provisions, they are not exclusive to me. Nor, the Bible says, are they even exclusive to those who love and worship God.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” Matthew 5:45.
Rather, these small mercies, hidden in the everyday and given out to everyone, point back to a God who both sent his son to die and sends friends over with dinner.
Yes, he’s given us Grace in gallons, but he’s also given us those sweet sips.
So don’t miss them.
Look for them today. Where has God been good to you?
Find those little offerings of his kindness and guzzle it.
It will satisfy like nothing else.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8.
What about you?
Where has God given you small (or big) sips of grace lately? Do share!