The other day I was walking along, when all of a sudden, I stumbled across a section of broken sidewalk. Luckily, I caught myself before falling down. But when I turned around to see where I’d tripped, something caught my attention: two words carved into the sidewalk: “AMAZING GRACE.” I had walked right over them.
That started me thinking. How often do we stumble and leave the amazing grace of God behind?
Everybody sins. The apostle Paul famously wrote: “All have sinned and fall(en) short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But as Christians, we can sometimes feel like we’re through with all that. We’ve been saved in Christ, so temptation can’t touch us. That’s where we run into trouble. Sooner or later, we’re going to sin again. That’s just part of being human. In Christian-ese, we call those slip-ups “stumbling.” But the worst part of stumbling might not be the sin at all. Sometimes, people feel so much shame after they’ve sinned that they don’t turn back to God. Instead of embracing God’s free grace, they try to do a good work, balancing out the wrong with two rights. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
In Christ, we are on a journey of sanctification, being conformed into the image of our Savior. But it’s not always a smooth process. That’s where God’s grace comes in. It’s by this grace that we are able to access God’s forgiveness and, through Christ, be brought back into perfect communion with our Lord. See how Charles Spurgeon describes it:
Our Lord Jesus is ever giving, and does not for a solitary instant withdraw his hand. As long as there is a vessel of grace not yet full to the brim, the oil shall not be stayed. He is a sun ever-shining; his is manna always falling round the camp; he is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from his smitten side; the rain of his grace is always dropping; the river of his bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of his love is constantly overflowing. (Spurgeon, Morning and Evening)
Christ’s grace to us is never-ending. It’s inexhaustible and always new. No matter how many times we stumble or how much shame we feel, God’s grace is always available to us. So the next time you’re out walking around, keep your eyes open. You might just stumble right into God’s amazing grace.