The steady hands of grace
My wife and I are four months away from holding our baby boy, Dayton Emmaus. Then, a year or so from now, he’ll be holding our hands as he tries to balance himself and walk for the very first time. And our boy will stumble. He’ll fall down, unable to stand. But the calm hands of someone he trusts will pick him up and steady him again.
As we get older, the idea of needing help begins to bother us. We think we can handle it. Any idea of dependency makes us cringe. But a day will come when we’ll start stumbling and falling again. And we’ll need the strong and steady hands of someone we trust.
Call it the cycle of life. Maybe even old age. Our physical bodies are particularly fragile in the first and last moments of life. But when it comes to our spiritual walk, we need those steady hands every single day.
Yet, we often forget this truth. We live in a world that says, “Just pick yourself up and try again.” So, we push and pull, trying to get ourselves out of the hole we’ve dug by our own sin and shame. Until we become so frustrated that we settle in the muck and mud.
You see, the grace of God picks us up in our brokenness, teaches us how to walk, and brings us safely home. Lest we think we can save ourselves, let’s ponder the steady hands of grace.
The Bible says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14 ESV).
There’s nothing we could’ve done to make this grace appear. Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (ESV).
In God’s perfect timing, “… the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14 ESV).
The grace of God has appeared through the person and work of Jesus Christ. And this grace is available to you. No matter how far you’ve fallen. The steady hands of the Father can rescue you from the deadliest pit and set your feet on stable ground.
But this grace doesn’t just pick us up, it teaches us how to walk. Of course, a father is happy to pick his child up when he falls. But that doesn’t stop him from teaching his child how to walk.
The same is true when it comes to our Father in Heaven. He rescues us from our sin and shame, but that doesn’t stop Him from teaching us how to walk for His glory. In theological terms, we refer to this as justification and sanctification. God saves us from our sin (justification) and teaches us how to walk (sanctification).
As Titus 1:12 explains, the grace of God trains us to renounce sin and walk in the newness of life. Just as we’re unable to pick ourselves up, we’re unable to walk faithfully on our own. Rather than trying to get our lives together and accomplish this or that, we must learn to walk by the steady hands of grace.
The grace of God picks us up in our brokenness (justification) and teaches us how to walk (sanctification). But it also brings us safely home (glorification).
We see this in Titus 1:13-14 as Paul writes, “… waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (ESV).
In Christ, we are safe and secure. Because God’s grace is certain to keep us standing and walking until the day when Christ returns.
Maybe the steady hands of grace are reaching for you today. I pray He takes hold of your life and makes you more like Christ.
In Psalm 40:1-2, David writes, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure” (ESV).
Oh, may that be your story. Come rest in the steady hands of grace.