We want coverage for the long haul. It’s inside of each of us. We want to know that we have enough cash, gas, health or Brownie points to keep us in good graces for a long time. We don’t want to have to worry about it. Some grace works that way. Saving grace took hold of us the moment we became a child of God. From that point forward we know we’re bound for eternity with God. That’s peaceful, it’s exciting, and yes, it’s amazing.
But what about grace to deal with the ugly periods in our lives? Sometimes those times come as brief moments in our day. Others seem to stretch across days, or months… or years. We need grace. We need courage, strength and hope that we don’t have, and we need God to give it to us now. We’d love it if we could have a HUGE draw on our “Grace Account” so we wouldn’t have to make another trip so quickly to get more. But that’s not how it works.
Grace is more than a gift to get us through. It’s a gift to get us close to the Giver of the gift. He loves it when we crawl up on His lap, and just ask for what we need. It’s not our dependence, our loyalty or our tasks that He wants in exchange for grace. He simply wants our presence. Maybe that explains why the most successful “grace prayers” I pray are simply to get me the short distance from this moment to the next. Could God in an instance give me enough grace to permanently deal with that bothersome boss or that annoying neighbor? Yes. But He seems to choose more often than not to provide just the perfect amount I need for that moment.
Paul was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Of what, we don’t know. But he kept praying, and kept asking for God to take away the problem. Once and for all, Lord, just be done with it. But God’s answer was “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9 God simply said, “I know you, and I know the issue… and I see the long picture. For now, let me give you the grace for the moment, so that in the long run you’ll have grace for the victory.”
We don’t like that. Well, I don’t. But God knows how much grace I need, and He gives it when I ask. Maybe not the way I want, or to cover as long as I hope. But two things are sure:
1) God’s grace is always enough and 2) He loves it when I come back and ask for more. Grace is the big win that carries our eternity; but it’s also the little victory that carries us from this moment to the next.
Grace from here to there. It’s more than enough.