Lately, I’ve found myself reflecting on the nature of God – particularly His gracious character. I think of a perfect and holy God who has provided a way for imperfect, selfish and sinful people to be in relationship with Him. We serve a God who actually delights in a close relationship with us! That’s too much for my ungracious mind to comprehend, but every so often I get a glimpse of this truth, which enhances my love and awe for God.
Allow me to share with you an illustration that helps me understand God’s gracious character. In his book, Holiness by Grace, Bryan Chapell tells how, as a child, he found a piece of rotted log which he thought looked like a horse head. He took it home, pounded nails into it and proudly presented it to his father as a tie rack. His father remarked how wonderful it was, propped the piece of rotted wood against the closet wall and used it as a tie rack for years. Chapel then writes,
“In my childish mind this creation was a work of art ready for the Metropolitan Museum. But as I matured, I realized my work was not nearly as good as I had once thought. In fact, I understood ultimately that my father had received and used my gift not because of its goodness but out of his goodness. In a similar way our heavenly Father receives our gifts, not so much because they deserve his love, but because he is love.”
I read this years ago, but I still stand in awe of God’s gracious character every time I recall it. God is perfect , yet He receives the imperfect gifts I bring to him. As I seek to hear God’s voice and do His will, it brings me great comfort to know that we serve a God who is gracious to receive me and instruct me in his love – not because I am good, but because He is good.
Father, You are a gracious God! You are perfect, yet You delight in being in relationship with me – I don’t understand it, but I’m grateful for it. Fill me with the knowledge of your grace -- fill me up and let Your grace spill out of me to others. Thank you for your goodness. In the name of Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, I come to You. Amen.
- CJ Ganzevoort