Soul Food: “There’s Grace For That” by May Patterson
“There’s Grace For That”
by May Patterson
Your boss speaks down to you, as if you were an ugly little dog…Your sister-in-law embarrasses you in front of the entire dinner table—and they roar with laughter. A friend at work takes credit for your new idea. A buddy at church “forgets” to reimburse you—for three years.
Disappointment is everywhere. Life is messy; people we believe in let us—or throw us—down. The easy reaction to hard times is the natural one: rage, spewing hateful words, or getting even (I’ve tried them all). But it should be different for the people of God. There is power for our time of need at the throne of grace.
A Heavenly Experience
The throne of grace is mentioned throughout the Bible, but Isaiah literally saw it. He said, “I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (Is. 6:1) Based on this passage, I assume the throne sits in a room resembling the temple in Jerusalem, for it was merely a copy of the original in Heaven.
Imagine with me what that throne room might look like. We enter, brushing past a torn linen veil of blue, purple and scarlet. We walk across cool tiles of polished blue lapis. The golden lampstands are lit and their light dances across golden walls. A large white throne inscribed with the word “grace” sits in the center of the room. The strong smell of incense hangs in the air, already heavy with awe and reverence.
Sinners have no right to enter here, but Jesus has opened a new and living way through the veil. God invites believers to approach the throne boldly and often. The door remains open for us to find grace for help in time of need.
There’s Grace for That
It’s a lofty cerebral concept, this throne of grace. We cannot see it, yet God has given us this word picture (Heb. 4:16) to describe where we get power. Whatever the situation—there’s grace for that! Here are a few times when I found grace there:
When I helped someone and then they sued me.
My husband had an employee with badly infected teeth. The pain kept him up at night. We sent him to our dentist and paid the large bill. Two years later, he walked off the job and sued us with a bogus lawsuit. For forgiving and continuing to help others even after you’ve been burned—God gives grace for that.
When a friend constantly competed with me.
She saw our association as an ongoing series of contests and she competed in every category. From what she could buy or wear, to our kid’s test scores, it was an all-out competition. Naturally, I got sucked into this weird little game (I like to win). Grace helps us step out of the contest and to love beyond it. For relationship needs—God gives grace for that, too.
When my daughter’s front teeth were knocked out just before jaw surgery.
A stray elbow in cheerleading claimed her front teeth, just before extensive jaw surgery. I felt pale and dizzy as I rushed her to the dentist. My own mouth throbbed in sympathy. The injury postponed a complicated jaw surgery for over a year. Waiting takes grace. It takes even more grace to watch your child suffer. That year, God gave me grace for that.
God offers grace for everyday life, but in order to receive it we must ask. Coming to the throne of grace is as simple as sinking to your knees on a messy kitchen floor, asking for help to be a better mother. It’s kneeling in your office asking for grace so that you can act like Jesus, instead of like you.
It’s a daily (sometimes hourly) trip, but it’s one we must make. The throne of grace is not only a place for power; it is a practice of the powerful. There is an ocean of grace waiting for those who approach the throne and ask.
Lord, thank you that we can approach your throne of grace, boldly and often. Thank you for providing grace to meet our need. Help us to remember to come to you, instead of relying on our own strength. Send grace down to us and then through us to others.
- What specific life situations do you need God’s grace for?
- Who do you need to extend grace to today?
“So, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death. We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain—Christ’s body.” Hebrews 10:19-20
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Faith In Action:
Envision yourself coming to the throne of grace for power each day.
About the Author:
May Patterson, author of the book A Time to Seek, began writing in response to God’s grace. And by His grace, she has written magazine articles, Bible studies, and spoken at a variety of events. Her desire is to help people draw closer to God. May is married to her dear friend Mike and they have three grown children. She has a great love for the outdoors, travel and blogging at http://maypatterson.tumblr.com