One of the perks of living in Small Town, USA, is how you can pull out of your driveway at 8:25am and still make it to an 8:30 appointment in town with a couple minutes to spare. At least, that’s usually how it goes for me.
But the other day as I was preparing to leave the house for an 8:30am appointment, I did something really clumsy. I wasn’t even in a hurry when it happened. It was just one of those moments where I happened to do the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. It happened like this: Right as I was about to leave the house, I remembered I needed to grab something out of my room. Or look in the mirror one more time. The reason is irrelevant. So anyway, as I was leaving my room, I started to close the door behind me, but something caught my eye, so I turned back around. Right then the door closed on my finger. Hard.
It was the kind of pain that takes a second to register, but once you feel it, you really feel it. And then you do that weird dance where you’re flapping the hurting hand and hopping from one foot to the other, biting your lip so you don’t yell (it’s summer and my sisters, who were fortunate enough to not have a morning appointment, were still sleeping).
Now, I shut my fingers in doors all the time (well, every now and then), and I usually just apply some pressure or something then move on. But this time, as I looked down, things were different. Part of my finger was black. And not coffee-without-creamer black, but tar black. One of my defining qualities (or flaws, whichever) is that I don’t do wounds. At all. I mean, I get a paper cut and make one of my sisters put a bandage on it because I get queasy. So I bandaged it as fast as I could, then grabbed my keys. Unfortunately, it was also the kind of pain that makes you see spots, so I had to spend a few minutes sitting on the couch, trying to blink away the darkness.
By the time I got myself together and drove to my appointment, I was ten minutes late. It just wasn’t my morning. And even though my injury never technically bled, I still wore a bandage for two days so I wouldn’t have to look at it. I’d show you a picture, but then I’d have to avoid my own blog.
Clearly, I lack grace. That’s ironic because my name means grace. I can be clumsy, spastic, and awkward sometimes. I can accidentally find ways to break something or injure myself and no one can figure out how I accomplished it. Sometimes I lack social graces, too. Like how I say something without thinking about it, only to realize that I did not mean for it to come out of my mouth.And yet, despite my obvious flaws, people love me anyway.
All of these thoughts on my lack of grace when my name means grace led me to ponder God’s grace. Now, I know there’s a difference between graceful actions and Divine Grace, but at times I feel like I’m lacking in both types.
Sometimes I stumble in my Christian walk. I trip, I run into walls, etc. I get so caught up in Anna Land that I forget Who my focus should be on. When I lose sight of what’s ahead, I inevitably run into stuff. A couple of posts back, I mentioned Jonah 2:8, which says,
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
Sometimes, like the other day when I lost focus and closed my finger in the door, I lose focus on what’s important in life. I focus on idols like selfishness, jealousy, etc. that keep me from receiving God’s grace. I know when Christ died, he died to erase all of my imperfections. He gave mercy; a pardon I don’t deserve. But because of Christ’s sacrifice, I can have His grace. I can have the gift of forgiveness for all of the times I stumble in life. He loves me even when I do the wrong thing.
I have a little framed certificate on my dresser that says my name and it’s meaning, “Anna – one of grace.” And then below that is a verse:
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.”
– Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)
Each morning as I get ready for the day, I read over this verse. It tells me that, as long as I’m living for God, He’ll supply me with all of the grace I need. He will give me everything I need to help me on my walk of faith. He’ll help me navigate around the theoretical doors that try to slam on me and stuff that tries to trip me. And when I do mess up, He’ll provide me with grace. That verse is a promise, and God always keeps his promises.
It’s a relief to know that yes, I can be clumsy and I make wrong decisions, but God still gives me grace. He pardons my sins with a mercy I don’t deserve. Because of the Lord’s love for me, I don’t have to live in guilt for my mistakes. He gives grace to me, Anna, so I can truly be “one of grace.”