Surprised by His Grace

“Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is the grace given that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8

The tendency to take mercy for granted, to cease to be surprised at God’s blessings to us, is a malady common to all fallen men. It is so much easier to count burdens instead of blessings. Living in affluence, people tend to become like spoiled children, complaining when they must endure slight inconvenience and demanding preferential treatment from the Almighty as if he is their debtor.

As a young married couple, my wife and I faced several financial crises. I was determined to be independent, but the time came when I had to swallow my pride. At one particular point, we were in abject need with out the slightest glimmer of hope in view. When my parents stepped in with an unexpected gift enabling us to meet our expenses, I was deeply humbled. I could not restrain the tears. How grateful I was! When we faced another crisis some months later, I was again very thankful for their assistance. The third time, I again said “Thank You,” but couldn’t muster a tear. Soon, I found myself thinking when we faced another predicament, “Maybe Dad will bail us out; he always comes through in the clutch.” What had happened? I was beginning to take his kindness for granted. I had ceased to be surprised at grace. I acted as if his generosity was a personal right.

The best way to live life is to live it surprised. Have you ceased to be surprised at the mercies God sends your way? Jacob considered himself “unworthy of the least of God’s mercies.” The Lord is not obligated to bless us. Anything short of eternal misery, therefore, is a mercy, an undeserved blessing from him. Paul never got over the fact that the Lord could love somebody like him. When the Holy Spirit laid bare my heart and showed me my wretchedness, I too was amazed at his love for someone like me. May I never cease to be surprised at his daily benefits to an unworthy sinner. May I never cease to emphasize the “amazing” dimension of his grace.

– Michael L. Gowens