God is over the top. Really, he goes too far, in every direction including dimensions we can’t even fathom. His grace is just too much. By definition we don’t deserve it and by nature (its and ours) we can’t get our heads around it.
We can define it. We can describe it in part. We can see it here and there. But noodle on this for moment with me.
Nothing we have was not given to us.
Nothing we are we were not made into.
Nothing in our sphere is actually in our control.
We came from a family in a place with a race, none of which we chose. We meet people daily we did not choose to meet. We have jobs we “earned”, but how many “connections” and fortuitous happenings got us there? Or maybe we are without a job, but what might happen tomorrow? These are the signposts of common grace, that kindness God pours out on the world day in and day out and without which no one could survive. Do we see it?
Often when we think of grace we think of God’s specific grace, the kindness of saving us by sending his son to live a perfect life and die a sinless death in the place of sinners like you and I. Indeed that is grace, and even that, for all of the tomes and volumes written about it, is scarcely understood.
The reality of God’s grace is the same as the reality of God: if we could truly understand it then it would not be worthy of our wonder and thanks. It is so much more than that. It shows itself in shocking places and when we think we’ve reached its limits we crest a hill and see it stretching beyond the horizon.
So take notice of it. Look high and low and listen closely. It will appear where you never saw it previously.
Record it. Write it down in a journal or an iPhone or make a voice memo or something, anything. Just make a note you can revisit at those times grace seems to have disappeared.
Reflect on it. It is hard to be thankful for those things we barely notice. When you record something come back to it, mull it over, see its aspects and angles and connections. There are no simple graces; let you mind be blown and your heart grown.
Then share it. Tell a friend, tell your small group, write a blog, tweet a tweet, not every time, but when you are overwhelmed or struck.
In taking these steps the expanse of God’s grace will become more real to us and to those we share it with. What is more, God’s grace will show itself through us and impact others. More than anything, as we see the prevalence and necessity of grace in every part of life, we will find ourselves overwhelmed by gratefulness for it.