The Sweetest Grace

The Sweetest Grace

Think about the person you used to be, could have been, should have been. History written before you were even formed in the womb. Spiritual powers at work as you learned to crawl, took your first steps. People praying over you from thousands of miles away. The moment(s) that changed your life. You were chosen – years in the making, before your existential crisis, before you came of age, before you knew what you were doing. 

Tanzania is a visual reminder of the sweetest grace in my life. I could have been, should have been that girl in her white and blue, tattered, and a tad bit discolored school uniform, walking hours to and from school everyday.  That girl who fetches the water, washes her clothes, cooks, and tends to her siblings, all before settling down to start her homework hunched over the flickering, fading light of a kerosene lamp as night envelopes day. 

The sweetest grace is like that embrace you feel when you  close your eyes tightly and consider where you would be apart from God’s plan on your life. The journey that brought you to your knees at the cross – the come-ups, letdowns, overlooks, and breakthroughs. Think about Joseph – despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused, and thrown in prison; then rising up to become a prominent leader in Egypt. And Rahab? A forgotten, talked down upon harlot that helped save the lives of two men, and God forgave her sins. A pastor once explained to me, “Grace is giving us what we do not deserve and mercy is not giving us the punishment we do deserve.”

I am the child of Nigerian immigrants; birthed on foreign soil, to blessings and opportunities that I do not deserve. I could have been born in Nigeria; I should have been born in Nigeria, but the sweetest grace had already been breathed upon my life.  As I look into the eyes of little girls I see, forcing them to look me in the eyes, I see the bittersweet reminder of my sweetest grace. It gives me a feeling of joy and a selfish feeling of relief. Little girls in third world environments are the most vulnerable of us all – preyed upon, exploited, abused, and overlooked. The innocence still in their eyes, a reflection of the hope still in their hearts beckons me and stirs me to my point of inflection – the point where God covered me with the sweetest grace. I pray every one of these little girls will know the supernatural embrace of God; the sweetest grace upon their lives. My sweetest grace weaves a thread through every little girl I see and reminds me I had nothing to do with it. And grace, His grace, is all the sweeter because of this.

Grace isn’t earned or bought. I didn’t deserve to be born in America.  I don’t deserve anything, and that’s one of the hardest truths to hear in the West where standards of entitlement have muddied the waters and distorted the truth of God’s word. You nor me deserve any more grace than the next person based on who we are or aren’t. Because if that’s the case, these little girls deserve every good thing in the world.

I pray each of us recognizes God’s work in our lives, even before we “knew” what was going on – how He’s molded us and continues to prepare us to inherit the kingdom. May your sweetest grace be a reminder of the unfairness of life, and the mercy and goodness of God.

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