live brave and reach out with grace
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)
These days, I sit inside, listening to the rain beat down the windows and the wind howling as it shakes the trees, and I cannot help but think it is an image of us here, beaten by the downpours of life and shaken on the outside (most of us on the inside, too). These days, I look at our fallen world and I wonder, just how much further away can we wander. We are all people of broken hearts and shattered dreams, yet we do all we can to look like we are not bruised and battered.
And I cannot help but wonder — what if we lived brave and reached out with grace?
What if we lived to encourage and left all judgment behind so we could truly see all people? What if we lived to touch with love — to touch lives, to touch hearts, to touch those people who have forgotten the comfort of gentle warmth on their arms?
What if we lived to love with our whole hearts and souls because we know the all-encompassing, unchanging love of our heavenly Father?
“But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.” (2 Corinthians 8:7)
Because when I look at this world, these trees changing their colors and leaves dripping with rain — I wonder, just how many of carry hearts like these as well, dripping with tears and ready to let go of these colorful pieces of our hearts, memories of something that was once new. How many of us wish for that gentle touch, for that kind smile, for that look of acceptance, for that patient shoulder of one truly willing to listen?
And I cannot help but wonder — what is truly stopping us from reaching out with grace? Why are our hands so easily tied, our touch held back?
I have no answer for that, my friend, because I cannot say I know all our hearts. But I know what I have seen in your heart: courageous love that wants to plant seeds of hope; boundless grace that wants to comfort and care; transparent hope that wants to light the way before others. And it is not easy, letting our souls breathe in this world that surrounds us with waves of fear and whispers of discouragement. But I know that you are a mighty brave one, my friend. You might not believe it and you might not see it — but the Lord does. And when I see the beauty of your heart, dear one? I can see it, too.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
To be honest, most days I do not know either how to reach out with grace. But I have confidence that the Lord will show me the moments when to reach with grace, and surely the how will follow just that. And in the kingdom of the God Almighty? There are no small or great actions — there is only grace, freely flowing grace that reaches beyond any boundaries or limits. So there is no need to worry about being enough or too much, about where to begin or when can you stop. It is never about how much you do. It is always about whether you do it at all.
So this week, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us towards Christ, that we could become more like Him and reach out with grace like He always does to us. Let us pray for a heart molded like His, ready and willing to love with all that we have — and for Him to fill in the gaps when we have not. Yes, He is calling us to live mighty brave, and it sounds scary to me. But I am convinced that it will always be some much more blessed to give than to receive, and to see Jesus when we love with all that we have.