one of the things i noticed this summer about my 7-year-old niece’s stage in life was that she seemed to believe she was never at fault. no matter what happened, she thought she was never to blame. while she continued to point fingers, i wondered how i would be intentional about helping her see her shortcomings. without beginning to understand her sin, how would she start to see her need for a Savior? in love, i wanted to turn times of discipline into teachable moments about how Jesus rescues us in our rebellion. why did i think, even for a second, this lesson i longed to teach her wouldn’t also be for me?

it began on a morning we were late to meet someone. i was frantically running around trying to gather her things, get her to her location, and not be late for work myself. already ten minutes late, the last chore of the morning was to take the dog potty before rushing out the door. when i looked up from the backyard, i noticed not only had my niece come to join me and the dog in the backyard, she closed the backdoor that she also managed to lock. the three of us now stood in the backyard with no key, no phone, and no way to get back into the house. (looking back, i am just thankful i had us both out of our pajamas.)

what a great scenario to display grace; i just wish i could say that i did. in my frustration, i shamed her and watched her sweet face melt. as tears streamed down her cheeks, we figured out how to get another key, but the damage was done. i hurt her. when called to show mercy, i chose to sin. i was now the one needing the reminder of a sweet Savior’s grace.

the lesson i had imagined would include me pointing out her wrong, had me confessing mine and asking for her forgiveness. before reentering the house, we sat on the steps and i explained to her how badly i had handled the situation. i shared that even though i was grown, i often choose my way instead of God’s way. these actions aren’t simply mistakes, they are rebellion against God and they are sin. i told her that it is because of my sin and inability to be perfect on my own that i need Jesus. i couldn’t get those ugly moments back, but i longed to redeem them to point her to Jesus. humbly, i got a fresh few of His mercy myself.

since that week i keep singing the lyrics of laura story’s “grace.” this song (see below) so captures my heart as i continue to confront how i oh so often fall short. while i am incredibly imperfect, He continues to be all sufficient! wow!

Laura Story’s “Grace” lyrics

“My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused. I see the things You do through me as great things I have done.
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me and hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.

Chorus:
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?”
And you answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow’r of My daily sufficient grace.”

At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged, knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job.
For who am I to serve You? I know I don’t deserve You. And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

Chorus
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?”
And you answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow’r of My daily sufficient grace.”
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means. The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
 by giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.

Chorus:
I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?”
And you answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face, You’ll walk in the pow’r of My daily sufficient grace.”

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