Skip to main content

Extend The Branch Of Grace

Have you ever dodged someone at the grocery store? It happens doesn't it? A few months back my son and I were walking down an aisle, coming closer the the check out. We had grabbed all our items and we were focused on having lunch. I look ahead and there is a woman and her daughter coming toward us. I see her look at me and before I knew it, they turned down an aisle faster than you can say, "Oh no she didn't". Oh, yes she did. I walked along side my son and he says, "Mom, did she just do what I think she did?" I'm not even sure I replied at the moment. I just shook my head in unbelief. The saddest part is that we are members of the same church. I think that's the part that really threw me for a loop.

I mean, we don't have to like everyone. I get that. I really do. But being rude and avoiding someone just so you don't have to say, hello, is just..well, wrong. That put a funk in my day. I found myself with a bad attitude. My son was feeling my attitude. For the rest of the day I questioned myself. What's wrong with me? Am I not good enough? Did I do something to offend her? Why would it be so terribly difficult to just look at me and my son and simply say, hello? I felt unwanted and unloved. I took that moment and it created a day that was no longer fun. I just wanted to go home.

Can I just say, hurt people, hurt people. When something is off in our life we often take it out on others without even thinking about. Grace. Sweet, sweet grace. I was ready to extend grace. But sadly, this wasn't the only time. It later happened again. This person walked right in front of me and turned her back to me as she spoke to others. There may have been a foot in between us, but for me it felt more like a few miles. I felt disconnected. Here I was again wondering what in the world was wrong with me. Has this ever happened to you? Praise Jesus, He can fill that gap with grace. He can cover the ground that seems to seperate us.

It's in these moments I go to Jesus with my brokenness and say, "Jesus, you don't know how this woman makes me feel. You don't understand what she has done to me." I hear the words of my Savior as though He is right here next to me. "Yes, daughter, I do understand. More than you know, I understand how you feel at this moment."

It hits me. She could have been having a bad day. Someone could have put the yuck in her day and now she is placing that yuck on me. I have no idea why she would turn from me and not choose to speak, but you know what? This is where grace comes in and makes a difference. It covers the distance between us. It gives way for Jesus to do His mighty work. We not only ask for grace daily, but we extend it to everyone we meet.

I can tell you that I'm praying about this situation. I could make a choice to personally go to this woman. I could pray for this woman. I could totally forget it and let it go. What would you do? Would you just decide that it's no big deal? Maybe reach out to her the next time I see her?  I need to totally make an effort to extend grace to her and simply say, hello. There could be something here that has me unaware. With us humans there is no amount of wondering that can bring about peace. It must be an active effort. Maybe the Lord has given me this time to pray so when that time comes I will be prepared.

It's not easy, is it? But then, friends, when we focus on our Savior, we see Him filled with grace overflowing. We are to extend the branch of grace just as our Savior extends His unyielding love for us. When we extend the branch of grace it gives that other person room to feel comfortable. It eases their burden and it doesn't have thorns of shame but blossoms of acceptance. We don't have to accept ones behavior, but we do accept the person in grace.

Next time we find ourselves in the shopping mall and we see a woman we don't really like, don't duck and hide. Extend the branch of grace. I don't think those meetings are just of chance, but are opportunities to see God do something big.


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Philippians 4:8






Dear Heavenly Father, help me to extend the branch of grace to all that cross my path. Whether they are friend or foe, may I focus on You and Your love and see this person with the same grace and love You extend to me. May I give You the opportunity to make a difference in every situation. I know there are no chance meetings. You tend to place those that we struggle with in our path for reasons we are unable to see until we shift our focus to You. Thank You, Lord, for giving me grace. Your sweet, sweet grace.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…