In 1992, on a flight from Boston to Zimbabwe, I anticipated there would be some layovers. However, I don’t always pay attention to details and failed to notice that one of my stops would be in The Azores Islands. When we approached the islands, the breath-taking beauty of the scenery created feelings of admiration and wonder inside of me.
As we landed, I was captivated beyond my expectations. Is there a place on earth that has had this kind of effect on you? Being in The Azores and experiencing the grace of God have some similarities for me:
1) I didn’t know how exquisite they were until I personally tasted their goodness.
2) I couldn’t arrive there on my own: one journey required an airplane, the other a Savior.
3) each experience existed to be embraced and enjoyed.
4) for each experience, I had a feeling of privilege and gratitude.
5) both ultimately pointed me to my benevolent Maker.
John Piper, in his book Desiring God, asks, “Do people go to the Grand Canyon to increase their self-esteem? Probably not. This is, at least, a hint that the deepest joys in life come not from savoring the self, but from seeing splendor. And in the end even the Grand Canyon will not do. We were made to enjoy God.”
We will not be fulfilled in life when we are consumed with ourselves. Jesus boldly claims that He has come to give us abundant life (John 10:10) which includes His grace both on a daily basis and forever. It is a gift that we are wise to receive. We decide everyday if our lives will be rooted in grace.
Thomas Aquinas concluded that the splendor of a soul in grace is so seductive that it surpasses the beauty of all created things. My hope is that God will drench you with His grace in meaningful and practical ways. In the words of the apostle Paul,
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled
to the measure of all the fullness of God.
As your journey continues, how much of the grace of Jesus do you want in your life? Jesus is abounding in love and is completely dependable. Not only can Jesus sustain, heal, and empower you, but profound joy comes when you see His grace flood the hearts of people you love.
For more encouragement check out God’s Help at Just the Right Time
Excerpt republished with permission from Rooted in Grace by Jesse Bradley c. 2012