I will never understand His grace.
God has this crazy plan to do things completely opposite of the way I think they should be done.
For example, today is the last day of my college’s Fall Break. There’s, like, 20 people on campus max. Even though I live close enough to go home, I chose to observe at the high school on Thursday and Friday to earn hours for my Teacher Ed classes. I thought for sure that no college students would be attending my church (or singing in the worship band) this weekend because they would all be traveling, so I almost dreaded going. All I could think of was 64 verses of Just As I Am.
Of course, God works differently from how I think He should.
I got to church this morning to see more people than we usually have on a Sunday morning, including a college student who, of all things, led worship. It was no “Just As I Am” worship set, but it included a variety of genres.
Blended with “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” was “Your Love is Deep”, a song I hadn’t heard before. The verses declare that God’s love is “deep, high, long, and wide” and the chorus elaborates. The verse first of the chorus reads: “[Your love is] Deeper than my view of grace.” His love is even deeper than how big I thought it was. His grace runs much deeper than my impression of its depth. Wow, what an awesome concept.
When the very thing I desired, prayed about, asked for advice about, and felt peace regarding did not come to fruition, I felt like God had refused me my dream. I couldn’t think of any reason His will would not include my will. After I heard him say “No,” I stopped listening to him. I did not want to hear what He would say.
I am a proud INFJ on the Meyers-Briggs, and my F (for Feeling) and T (for Thinking) are both very strong. So strong, in fact, that I sometimes score as an INTJ on the test. Anyway, I came away from this situation in thinking mode: Well, that doesn’t make any sense, but I guess that is what’s best. It took several weeks to process it as a feeler: I’m very disappointed.
And I came to God with my heart full of disappointment-to-the-point-of-anger and I demanded to know why and how and what was He planning instead and God was like “Woah. Wait.” It was Job 38:2 all over again: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?” Questions His wisdom. With ignorant words. Why would I question the wisdom of my great God? I mean, He created the entire universe – why do I doubt his provision in my life?
His ways are much different than mine. And, dare I say, better?
His love is deeper than my view of grace. This implies that my view of grace is inadequate. I wonder if I will ever be able to understand His grace. I wonder if my view will always be inadequate. We do not worship that which we understand completely, so I wonder if I will always be wondering about God and his incomprehensible ways.
See, even in my moments of misunderstanding, of blaming God, of being furious like a teenager denied her wishes, God still loves me and he still lavishes me with an abundance of grace. Even in God’s justice, he is kind. Even in his righteousness, he is forgiving. I can fight him and argue with him, and he takes it like a faithful father and welcomes me into his arms.
This is not a license to be angry with God. This is not an excuse to argue with him about the smallest of things. I don’t want to take advantage of his grace. But this is a realization that even in his refusals, he provides. This is a realization that he knows what he’s doing. This is a realization that his grace and his ways are pretty much incomprehensible to my finite mind.
And yet… His ways are good. His grace is new every morning. His ways are right. His heart is kind.
His grace is more than enough.