Grace Upon Grace – What Color is God’s Grace to You?

If you’ve had a painful, devastating, heart- crushing experience raise your hand! Oh gosh, me too. Someone sinned against me and I was left floundering, hurting, confused, and off balance. I felt like my life was spinning out of control. I’m guessing you can relate.

Sometimes we feel like our lives are a mess leaving us feeling empty and numbed by the whirlwind of perplexity.

In the creation account in Genesis this verse spoke to me when I felt like I was lost, stumbling in a cloud of confusion. I wanted God to hover over my mess and create something beautiful out of the chaotic depth of my pain.

Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

I wanted the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit sent to me when I first believed, to hover over me. Comfort me, protect me. God is the same today and yesterday and tomorrow; that same Spirit of Creation hovered, today’s Holy Spirit can too.

The Spirit hovered over the water, hovered over me. Photo taken by Jeremy Bishop

Here’s what saved me… I now rejoice with the certainty of faith in a God who cares. For me, it was in the form of a white blanket, grace upon grace. Yes, a blanket. I was trying to get to sleep one night shortly after the devastating event. My heart was heavy and I knew I should pray. I wanted to pray. But this was one of those times I just couldn’t find the words. All I could do was repeat the name of Jesus, the only word that would come to my troubled mind to pray. The sweet name of Jesus. Enough. While I was lying there struggling with my pain, sleep beyond my grasp, the Holy Spirit in answer to my simple prayer lovingly prepared my chaos and gave meaning to what made no sense before.  He hovered in love and care over me.

Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Oh my goodness, how I would love to know what the Spirit was groaning on my behalf. It was not for me to know, too deep, beyond human comprehension. But I do know that it was according to the will of God. Don’t add to your burdens the worry that you don’t know all the will of God. You can be encouraged that you are not expected to know the will of God. Yet his revealed will for you is always hope and faith, love and purity. I was encouraged and you can be too, that in your own clouds of confusion and groaning you are being understood by the Spirit. God is searching your heart, and he is finding a meaning deeper than words.

It’s interesting that so many folks love the next verse, Romans 8:28, but overlook what comes right before that, the verse about groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8:28, “and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

All things. ALL things. How can that be? The devastation resulting from being sinned against in a heinous fashion is on my list of All Things. And He can take my All Things and cause them to work together for my good. This truth was so hard to wrap my mind and heart around. But at that moment when the Spirit was groaning on my behalf to the Father, I believe the Father’s good, that was He was able to work out of my ALL THINGS, was in the form of a white blanket.  Yes, a blanket. A white one. A blanket that hovered over me before gently encompassing me in the soft folds.

White Blanket of Grace

As I was struggling to sleep and my soul cried to the Lord with those groanings too deep for words, in my mind’s eye I saw a white blanket descending upon me. I know that sounds hokey. I’ve spent a lot of years studying science and have a degree in microbiology. I want solid facts, proven phenomena, and validated data. God knows me. He knows that about me.

But I believe He sent a white blanket to cover me and protect me that night and I believe that white blanket was His Grace.

It was my experience to SEE that blanket coming down out of the air, out of nothing. No, I did not have my eyes open; it was in my heart, soul, and mind. It was my experience to be comforted by it and protected by it so I could sleep. Isn’t that a picture of Grace upon Grace? All sufficient grace, enough grace to cover me, unmerited favor from God. If God can provide manna to the wandering Jews, why not a white blanket for me? I can’t believe I just wrote that! You’re going to think I’m either a gullible crackpot… or… that I had a manifestation of God’s grace when I desperately needed to get some sleep.

It’s never happened again and I have struggled with sleep issues since then on occasion. But I have no doubt it was His grace. Ever wonder what color grace is? For me it’s white. Pure white like the driven snow. In this photo the snow covers an ugly dead flower, redeeming it into a thing of beauty. God does that. The flakes of snow coming from His hands are so delicate and intricately gorgeous in their complexity.

Weeds cleansed by driven white snow
Cleansed by the driven white snow. Photo by Hide Obara
complexity of snowflakes
Amazing complexity of snowflakes. Photo by Aaron Burden

I know that it’s crucial that any experience you have, or I have, has to line up with scripture. God knows that I’m a geek who loves proven facts so it’s not too surprising he gave me an experience that is so unprovable. But experiencing God’s grace is what He wants for me, it’s biblical truth. Will that happen to you? Will you get a white blanket drifting down on you one heartbreaking night? Maybe, but probably not. God will find another way to get your attention and teach you His truth that beautifully meshes with how He created the unique YOU!

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