A little while back, I was listening to a YouTube compilation of the “Top 100 Praise and Worship Songs of 2015.” The last song to play repeatedly assured, “Your grace is enough, Your grace is enough.”
We love stories of God’s extravagant grace – a long-term drug user and dealer who has a miraculous conversion and sets up a ministry rescuing others from drugs; a Muslim in a country closed to the Gospel who meets Jesus in a dream and risks their life to follow Christ; Saul of Tarsus, persecutor of early Christians, who meets Jesus on the road to Damascus and becomes one of the greatest apostles of his day; a woman caught in adultery whose very life is owed to Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. We marvel that the grace of God is enough even for sinners such as these.
God’s grace – not enough for women?
How saddening it is, then, that it seems that so often, the message the church is sending women is that God’s grace is not enough for them in many ways. Sadder still, that we women so often make these messages part of our identity.
“Your grace is enough…but not enough to cover the effects of the first woman’s sin.”
“Your grace is enough…but not enough to make me my husband’s spiritual equal.”
“Your grace is enough…but not enough to allow me to teach or hold a position of authority.”
“Your grace is enough…but not enough to cover the failure of my marriage.”
“Your grace is enough…but not enough to cover my sexual past.”
Oh, I know – it’s never expressed in these terms, is it? But it is the implication, the underlying and often unconscious message, that you may have received in different times and places. It may have been well meant but badly expressed, but it hurt nevertheless. And it stuck with you.
Hearing God’s Spirit
But, quiet…be still for a moment. Put aside the clamouring demands of work or family or church. Switch off that internal conversation, all those messages that continually run through your head. Listen…listen. Hear the whisper of the Spirit. What’s that He is saying? My grace is enough…really, truly enough. More than enough. Overflowing, abundant, immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine. What about those hurts and sorrows in your life? I am your Comforter, Counsellor and Healer. And your deep needs? I am your Provider. Or the unfulfilled calling in your life? I am the One who calls you, commissions you, sends you.
I am enough.
Because, you know, however inadequate you may feel…whatever you may think there is in your life which disqualifies you from service or keeps you from closeness to Me…however hard it may be to believe these obstacles can be overcome, you come with no more or less than anyone else. Hear that? No more, no less. All come empty-handed to the foot of the Cross. No achievement, no natural talent, no efforts at your own righteousness…here, they mean nothing.
Empty handed you may come, but you also come heavy-hearted. Yes, I know those sins and burdens which weigh you down. I know how you have carried them close, but it’s time to let them go. Leave them here. Yes, all of them. One by one, place them at the foot of the Cross. Now – do you see this? Once you have placed them here, they can’t be picked up again. They are no longer yours – now their weight is carried by your Redeemer.
But…what is this? Although the burdens of your sin and sorrow have been cast down here, your heart is not left empty. In fact, it’s fuller than it’s ever been. Filled with love, with hope, with peace, with joy, with grace, with strength, with wholeness, with gratitude. (Oh, now there is something to offer the world!)
And those empty hands you came with? Take your time…you will find that they become filled with purpose. Lift them up in praise, clasp them in prayer, extend them in blessing. Offer bread and wine, comfort and peace with them. Get them dirty in My service…roll up your sleeves, and get stuck right in.
Is My grace enough for you? Enough, and more than enough.
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