Grace and Peace to You
I drove in the winter sun, feeling warmed not just by the rays streaming in through my windows but from somewhere inside my body. I’m not sure how many miles I covered before I realized that I had been smiling the whole way.
I noticed the feeling of warmth and the curve of my lips because they aren’t my norm; they caught me by pleasant surprise. I didn’t have to inquire what was going on with me; I knew.
In that moment, throughout that drive, the Lord was giving me His peace. Jesus had said it to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you,” (John 14:27).
I thought as I drove – isn’t it only by His grace that He gives any of us peace?
His peace is a gift we get to experience because we are His, and we are only His because we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). Out of His great grace, He bestows peace upon each believer. He leaves it with us; we can choose it anytime we want.
And when I access that peace? When I feel that peace given me by the Lord’s grace? I walk gracefully.
I walk grace-fully.
There is nothing more beautiful than a believer who knows in the depth of her heart Whose she is and walks in that power. There is a grace about her – on her face, in her words, in her steps, in her actions.
Her walk with the Lord and through this life is full of grace.
I can’t remember for sure, but I may have laughed aloud when I realized it. By God’s grace, He gives us peace, which fills us with grace.
What a beautiful cycle. Grace begetting peace; peace begetting grace. And the cycle doesn’t have to end… ever.
I wondered as I drove, maybe this is what Paul had been trying to teach believers all along?
How many times did Paul start or end his letters with “Grace and peace to you”? Grace and peace. One leads to the next, and vice versa.
Not two hours later, Satan tried to knock me off this truth I was standing on. He looks for opportune times (Luke 4:13).
Someone who is supposed to love me spoke words that cut deep. Unintentionally, the message this person sent me was you’re a failure, and I am ashamed of you.
I got back in my car, but this time I felt the cold of the winter air. There was no trace of the grace nor the peace I had felt earlier.
I did all I knew to do. I thanked God. “Lord, thank you for this conversation that just took place. It wrecked my heart, yes, but it is giving me the chance right now to come to You, to grow closer to You, to learn to walk in Your truth.”
I drove slowly, processing with the Lord what had just happened. I knew what was said to me – what was implied about me – was not true. But that didn’t make it hurt any less. Because the person who said it is supposed to love me.
The Lord spoke truth to the lies I had just heard, words of His sovereignty over my path, my past, my choices. He affirmed I hadn’t failed, despite this person’s opinion. He affirmed He was quite proud of me and spoke to the strength it took to walk the road He had for me. He reminded me that ashamed people shame people; the words spoken to me were not about me, they were about the person who spoke them.
Gently, because of His grace, He was breathing peace back into my demolished heart. My soul re-inflated with His peace, slowly, steadily. And then I was able to look at the person who hurt me so with grace and say, “Lord, his rock of a heart needs You. He is cold and closed and hurting, and he is in desperate need of Your saving. Soften him to Your love.”
Even in the difficult times, His grace bestows peace to enable us to walk gracefully. If you find yourself lacking either, the solution is to go to Him and talk it out. If you are a believer, He has left you peace. It’s yours for the taking. Go get.