When is the last time you needed a little grace? I don’t know about you, but I need it everyday. I’m writing about grace over at Proverbs 31 Ministries today, and I wanted to share with you too.
There it was.
Carved in wood.
The evidence could not be denied.
Anna dropped her kids off at school and then went home to clean up a bit. She removed a hairbrush, school papers and yesterday’s jewelry from her dresser. And there it was. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
A nail. And a name. L-i-l-l-i-a-n … carved into the top of her dresser’s walnut surface.
Seven-year-old L-i-l-l-i-a-n hadn’t even bothered to hide the weapon used to commit the crime. The nail lay just where she had left it. Right on the dresser by her name.
It was a tough six hours as Anna waited for her 44-inch, 49-pound lump of love daughter to get off the school bus. This was not a good day.
“Come with me,” Anna said to little Lillian. “I want to show you something.”
“What’s this about?” Anna asked, pointing to L-i-l-l-i-a-n carved into the wood.
Lillian’s rosy lower lip quivered, her green eyes filled with tears, and her face turned autumn red.
“I’m sorry,” she whimpered with bowed head.
“What were you thinking?” Anna asked sternly.
“Well,” she began, “last night I was waiting for the boys to finished their shower so I could take my turn. I saw the nail and picked it up. At first, when I thought about carving my name on the dresser, my mind said ‘No, no, no, don’t do it,’ But the longer I waited, and the longer I thought about it, the ‘No, no, no, don’t do it’ turned into ‘Yes, yes, yes, do it.’ And I did. I knew it was wrong, but I just had to do it.”
Anna got down on her knees and held Lillian’s guilty cherub face in her hands. “That’s how the devil works,” Anna said. “He creeps in when we don’t expect it and tells us to do bad things — wrong things — but it is up to us to say ‘No.’”
“I’m sorry, Mommy,” Lillian cried. “I’ll never listen to the devil again.”
Anna is my niece. As she told me this story, I saw myself in young Lillian. I wonder if you did, too.
Temptation lies right in front of us — like a nail just taunting us to scratch an itch. At first we say “No, no, no,” but the longer we wait around and fiddle with it, the more likely the “No, no, no” will turn into a “Yes, yes, yes.”
What’s the answer? Don’t wait around and fiddle with it! Walk away. Right away.
Paul wrote: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
That’s true whether the temptation is flirting with that married man at the office, having one too many glasses of wine, searching for an old boyfriend on Facebook, sharing a juicy morsel of gossip with a friend, or carving your name in your mom’s dresser with a nail.
I love that Lillian said, “I’ll never listen to the devil again.” Oh, don’t you wish that were true? For Lillian. For me. For you. But we will.
That’s when I thank Jesus for the nails — not one, but three — that pierced His hands and feet so we can be forgiven.
It’s called G-R-A-C-E … and we all need it.
Dear Lord, when I encounter temptation today, help me walk away right away. Give me the wisdom not to fiddle with it, the strength not to give in to it, and the courage to turn my back on it. Thank You for always providing a way out. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now back to my original question. When is the last time someone extended grace to you? Leave a comment and let’s celebrate!
Sometimes we forget about God’s grace. That’s when we start listening to the lies that tell us that we’re a failure who’s not good enough. It’s time to silence the lies that steal our confidence and start replacing those lies with truth! Join Sharon in her book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence and learn how to replace the lies with truth. Because of Jesus in you, you are more than enough!
Congratulations to the winners from the random drawing for a FREE copy of TAKE HOLD OF THE FAITH YOU LONG FOR from the comments of the last post! Evelyn Torres, Nelda Rivas, Karen Pope, Paige, and Jan. Be on the lookout for a notification email!