Coming Alive with Grace
Remember that old movie from the 80s about a robot who gets electrocuted and comes to life. He keeps telling people "Number 5 is Alive". He was part of a group of robots who were being trained for combat and his name was his number. I used to find it humorous as that is also my number, or rather place in line in my family. I am the 5th of 7 siblings. Saying "Number 5 is Alive" on occasion is silly, but then so am I. As the only one of the 7 who has never been forced to grow up, I tend to be very silly at times. Perhaps you noticed?
I heard someone say recently that 5 was the number of Grace. I didn't give it much thought, but for some reason this has become a repeating thought in my head. I am struggling lately in my new position at work. I like to be silly, but I also like to do my job well, and I like it when others do theirs well. I have found that I am intolerant of mistakes. I get angry, and want to tell people off. I said in yesterdays blog that I was struggling writing this. It is never easy to realize your own faults. It is very easy to recognize the faults of others. Lately, I've been consumed by the many mistakes that I am forced to correct. Not my own, but those of others. It is exhausting and I make it worse by getting exasperated!
Someone once told me that God puts us where he wants us so we can learn something, to grow in some area. Guess what, he wants me to live up to my number. So while I might be doing my earthly job right, I am failing miserably in my heavenly calling. UGH! What a painful statement.
The song associated with today's blog is from Zach Williams. Most of his music is very personal. He isn't ashamed to talk about his failures and his need for Jesus. I hear this song every day. I love it. "A little more like Jesus a little less like me." Lately every time I hear it I am hearing Jesus say, "don't just sing it, live it!"
I struggle writing this because I don't want to seem like I have anything figured out. This whole life is a journey of discovery. I know that I am in this present work situation because God is teaching me how to deal with people in a Christ-like manner. He wants me to be happy in every situation. This is NOT the job I want to do, but it is where he wants me. How selfish of me not to view the mistakes of others as an opportunity for God to teach me how to be more gracious and reach them with love and understanding. People have off days, and there are some people who always make mistakes. I am not perfect. I also make mistakes. I want grace when I fail, why should I not offer the same grace when others fail?
Maybe you are in a situation that has you working a job you dislike, or maybe you found yourself unemployed. There is always a reason God brings us to these places. Imagine Jesus being our teacher. He stands there in front of a class of one and says, "today you are going to learn patience." We think, "no sweat!" Then the lesson begins. We lose our job, and no one seems to be interested in hiring us. Our resume' looks great. The portfolio of work is stellar, but no one calls. Unemployment runs out. You have to pinch pennies to keep a roof over your head. You send out one more resume' and think, "they won't call." You start preparing for homelessness in your mind. Then the phone rings. You interview. You name your salary needs. They hire you, and your first paycheck comes at the exact right time. Imagine Jesus saying, "Oh you of little faith." It is a hard lesson. But the harder the lesson the longer it stays with you. You no longer look for that instant relief. You are now looking for God's timing. It is a paradigm shift called maturity.
Imagine Jesus putting your grade up on the board. How did you do? Your grade isn't about how patient you were, but whether or not you will have to relearn the lesson. Did it take? Do you get it? Some lessons we don't want to go through again, but if we don't learn the first time, guess what - SUMMER SCHOOL!
Imagine Jesus every day teaching you lessons. They can come in a song that strikes you to the heart, or in an unexpected miracle. When your heart is open, the lesson is easier to learn. When you stop fighting the teacher and say, "I'm ready, lets do this!", you can see how it all works. The miracle then becomes part of you and you can share it with those around you, perhaps in a blog or in the words of a song.
There is reason we aren't born adults into this world. God's design is for us to mature, to grow and develop character. Parents love their kids and teach them hard lessons. "Don't put a fork in the outlet." "Don't spray your brother with spray paint." "You can open your birthday presents ON your birthday in six months." If we got everything we wanted then we would not be any use to God. He wants useful, brave, smart, helpful, loving, patient, kind, gentle, happy, gracious and good children. Nobody likes a spoiled brat!
So today, Number 5 is Alive. Today Number 5 is beginning to understand why God has brought me to this place at this time. From now on grace will be extended, love will be shown, patience will be exercised and a smile will replace that look of stress.
I can't wait for graduation day!
Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 6:18 " The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen."