Spring rains have swollen many of the small streams in the area, creating small waterfalls and increasing the volume of sound from the waters. I love being able to walk or sit by the side of the rivers and listen to the sound the water makes as it falls over the rocks. It reminds me of the Scripture that tells me the voice of the Lord is like the sound of many waters. “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory”. (Ezekiel 43:2) It soothes my soul listening to the rivers flow and reminds me how important it is to allow God’s grace to flow through me.
Grace is God’s gift and we can only receive it and learn to live in the blessings it gives. It is a waterfall of peace, hope and joy, and we choose whether or not we want to stand in it, or run in and out of it. Once we’ve been in it though, we will never, never lose the healing benefit of it. We are eternally saved, safe and secure.
As I study God’s word and invite other Bible teachers into my scope of learning, I am struck wit the relization of how easy it is to slide over the line of grace into the pit of works. Even the most well meaning among us can send forth the false message that we can, some how, earn our salvation, or even make it more secure by the things we do. It frustrates me when I see this teaching in the lessons of others, and even more so when I see it coming out of me. Just to make it clear, let me state here there is nothing any of us can do to earn our salvation or make it more secure.
Does that mean that we will always feel the security and joy grace brings?
It depends on how we choose to respond to God’s love. My children and grandchildren know I love them unconditionally and there is nothing any of them could ever do to make me quit loving them, but occaisionally there are times they choose to pull away from my love. It doesn’t lessen my love for them, but it effects the way they receive the love which is continually being offered. In the same manner, I know God loves me unconditionally, but there are times I choose to step out of His loving embrace. It may take some time for me to realize I am not benefitting from His presence, but eventually I am made aware. Just as children and grandchildren became more aware of my absence when I moved out of the area, so I am made aware when I move out from beneath the waterfall of God’s grace.
I love my family deeply and would go to the ends of the earth to show them my love, but distance now inhibits the amount time I am able to spend with them, and the things I am able to do for them. Although it makes the times together ever more sweet, there is always the knowledge of that which was once easily available, is no longer as quickly obtained. Thankfully I live close enough I am still able to spend time with them and lavish gifts of love on them. It makes me even more aware and thankful that God’s grace is NOT like the physical aspects to the relationship we are bound in by time and distance. He is aways with me and will always be available to me, even when I have temporarily chosen NOT to abide in His presence. He has promised that He will never leave of forsake me.
“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.]” So we may boldly say:
“ The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”” Hebrews 13:5
It’s a promise that brings me intense peace and comfort everyday, but especially when I realize I haven’t been as attentive to Him as I could be. It is the soothing sound of His voice that calls me again and again back underneath the waterfall of His grace and into His loving embrace. Standing there, I can do nothing but invite others to enter as well.