Strapped across the belly of Florida is something known as Bone Valley. This belt of earth derives its name because of the fossils found there, such as saber-tooth tigers and huge shark teeth.
Beneath the surface, mixed with bones in the bowels of Florida, lies something even more sought after: phosphate. Mining phosphate was common place for me growing up in Bone Valley because my dad worked for a mining company called W.R. Grace.
When W.R. Grace was bought out locally, they downsized and it was my father’s responsibility to let people go. Eventually, the mines were closed altogether and dad was the one to clean out the offices and shut the doors for the very last time.
On one of his final days, dad brought home some of the discards from the office, mostly old stationary and supplies, but among the un-wanted junk was a floor mat with one word on it: "Grace."
The mat wasn't meant to hold any significance; it was just a throwaway from a company gone bust. We tossed it outside the front door of our home and wiped our dirty feet on it before entering.
I tell this story because as I've aged, I've come to appreciate Grace. All those years, it was Grace that put food on the table and clothes on our backs. It built us a home to live in and paid for my education. Grace made our lives full and complete. And at the end of the day, Grace was there to absorb all the dirt and grime, allowing me to enter the warmth and safety of home dusted off and cleaned up.
Like that Grace mat, God's grace can become commonplace to us. It can be a word we use but don't fully operate from. God desires our entire Christian life be lived from the orientation of grace, not self- effort. Grace truly is what makes our lives full and complete.
2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8. That’s grace for everything!
As I was writing this post, a woman approached me. I have never seen her before and wasn't "looking" for opportunities to talk with strangers. My face was buried in my notebook writing this post! But she walked up to me at my corner table in McDonald's and told me that she is divorcing her husband and leaving her family.
"I don't know who to talk to," she said. She then proceeded to tell me about how she has always been a good daughter and a submissive wife. She has always done the right thing.
"I don't want to be good anymore," she told me. "I just want to be happy."
The grace of God allowed me to share the love of Jesus with this woman who was broken and bawling in McDonald's with a foreigner! Praise the Lord!
God’s grace means that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had your quiet time and are prayed up or not; His grace is always there to equip you to live beyond yourself, for the glory of God. So live today from the orientation of grace, my friend. It is always there and it won't let you down.
Guest Post by Arabah Joy
Arabah Joy and her family have served as missionaries to East Asia for the past ten years. She has been married to Jackson for nearly two decades and they have four children, both adopted and biological. She has also authored a guide on how to increase energy as well as a newly released eBook on living Complete in Christ. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed. She writes about God's sufficiency to transform at www.arabahjoy.com.
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