My husband and I both have covered parking spaces below our apartment. We weren’t supposed to have covered parking, but our landlord is a nice guy who had some extra spaces.
My space happens to sit next to our neighbor’s parking space – a neighbor we hardly see but frequently hear. And this unseen neighbor loves to park as close to the yellow line as possible. Oftentimes, his tire grazes the edge of the yellow line.
And it’s maddening.
It’s maddening because I was told by unseen-but-heard neighbor to park away from the yellow line, and have respectfully done so. As soon as I began keeping my distance, he started inching toward the yellow line.
It’s a small thing – and insignificant thing – but it has the ability to turn my mood at the flip of a switch. One minute I’m happy and singing along to the radio, and the next I find myself frustrated and angry and – yes – I sometimes say things that aren’t nice.
It’s ridiculous, but it’s real.
Grace is also ridiculous and real. Grace isn’t ridiculous because it makes me mad over truly insignificant things. Grace is ridiculous because it’s the best gift you and I will ever receive; yet, so often we choose to forget it in the moments when we need it most.
Like when I turn the corner and have to squeeze my way into my parking space.
In the midst of my complaining about my parking situation, I was reminded of my need for grace every minute of every day. In my head, I know this. But in my heart, I choose to forget it.
What does grace look like in the mundane, seemingly ordinary moments? How do I live it out and remind myself daily?
Grace looks like remembering that we’ve been made holy so we can show God’s holiness to the world.
It is only because of God’s gift of grace that we’re able to “offer our bodies as a living sacrifice” as an act of “true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)
It is only because of the reality of grace that we’ve “become the righteousness of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And it is only by God’s grace that we’ve been “redeemed from every lawless deed” and purified to become “His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)
Grace looks like reciting the gospel to our hearts every morning, every afternoon, every evening.
What is the gospel? It is told to us beautifully in John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, Colossians 2:13-14, Romans 8:1-2, Ephesians 2:4-5, and so many other passages in God’s Word.
Deuteronomy 11:18-20 says, “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes… And you shall write them on your doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The Word has power if we choose to recite it. Recite it often – every day, multiple times a day. Post Scripture around your home. Make the gospel of grace your foundation.
Grace looks like allowing God & others to enter into our mess.
If we’re constantly covering up our imperfections and faking a life of perfection, we’re not remembering grace. Allowing trusted friends, and even sometimes a professional counselor, into our mess makes room for grace to enter our hearts.
Others can remind you of grace when you’re too weak to remind yourself. Others can call you out when it’s needed.
And allowing God to enter in? That is when real transformation happens. He already knows your mess. Invite Him in to cover you with grace.
Grace looks like showing others the thing of it.
This may be the hardest part. When we’re changed by grace – and reminding ourselves of it daily – then we must also be living it out.
We must be a people of forgiveness and acceptance. We must be a people who feel comfortable entering into the messes of other’s lives because the outcome is secure – covered in grace.
The next time you’re feeling wronged or frustrated, challenge yourself in the moment to choose grace for the other person. It looks like forgiveness and forgetfulness – forgetfulness because grace doesn’t leave room for holding a grudge.
When grace is real and alive in your heart, you’ll want it to overflow to others.
My parking situation left lots of room for pondering the gospel of grace. It’s not just about the parking. It’s about all of the little things throughout all of my days that add up and cause me to forget about grace. It’s a choice – to fight and remember, or to forget and lose.
I started muttering under my breath the other day as I pulled into my parking spot. My neighbor had parked as close to the yellow line as seemingly possible, all while leaving me little room and lots of frustration. In the moment, I desperately wanted to park as close to my neighbor’s car as possible. Because payback, right?
And then I stopped.
Grace made me holy so I can show God’s holiness to the world.
Grace is the theme of my mornings and my evenings – my whole life in each moment I choose to remember.
Grace being alive in my heart means grace overflowing to others.
I parked my car as far from my neighbor’s as I could.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alison is a wife, blogger, and Jesus-follower growing in grace & truth daily. She loves coffee in the morning, experimenting in the kitchen, and reading in a hammock just about anywhere. Her blog – AlisonTiemeyer.com – exists to encourage bold living rooted in God’s sweet gift of grace. You can also find Alison on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.