The Roar of Grace

by Jimmy Pruitt

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Mine is not the story of one who has it all figured out. Mine is the story of one who has needed and continues to need much grace.

“When grace finds you, you can’t keep it to yourself.” – Sheila Walsh

Grace is truly a gift, not a right. I’m only entitled insomuch as God says, “You are my son.”

Abba’s child. Mine is the story of a Heavenly Father who has relentlessly refused to give up the chase. No matter how hard I ran, I could never outrun His love, His mercy, His grace.

I am a Trophy of Grace. I’m not sure where I heard the term, but it stuck. Now, it has become a mainstay in my daily vocabulary.

Most trophies end up in a box in the attic or stored away in a closet as if it will someday be displayed again. But the truth is, it won’t. It will remain in the box until some future date, perhaps a move or a long overdue garage sale claims it. Gone. Forgotten.

Trophies are markers. They are rewards for a job well done. A reminder of a win. Trophies mark victories. Such is the nature of becoming a Trophy of Grace.
My win, however, is not about me at all. It’s about Jesus. It’s about the Father heart of God. Relentless. Patient. Loving beyond imagination.

As a trophy, I simply represent His win. His victory.

I would like to say that I’m polished and shined up, but I must confess that a closer look will reveals scars, cuts, chips and scratches. Reminders that the race, while ending in a full-on victory, is not quite finished.

It’s a paradox. The race will be won, but I’m still rounding a tight corner before the final straight and ultimately the tape. My role is to run to the finish line and complete the race.

I’m not alone in this race. The great cloud of witnesses echoes the roar of grace and I find new energy and regain my stride with focused intensity.

Of course I will finish and there will be a crown awarded, but I don’t want to lazily coast over the line, I want to finish well in spite of the setbacks, the scars, the failures, the false starts and the regret of poor choices.

I’m reminded of what Brennan Manning penned, “No evil can resist grace forever.”

And win I will, but it won’t be my victory alone, nor can it be. It will be the collective achievement of hundreds of grace-laced friends, family and even strangers who, along the way, have contributed to my race.

More importantly, it will be because a loving Father refused to give up on this rebel. The One who never stopped dishing out scoops of mercy and grace when it was anything but deserved. How I could I possibly resist His relentless and extravagant grace?

I have succumbed to the never ending barrage of love, mercy and hope . Surrendered? Yes! But even more, I have now embraced that same grace.

As a trophy of His grace on display, I can now say that I am truly a “Gracist.” Go ahead and advise me of the perils of the doctrine of grace, but I will simply love you anyway.

Once you have partaken of His pure unadulterated grace, anything less will be tainted and contaminated.

If grace is an ocean, I’m catching the wave.

Jesus, grace in an earth suit, is now not just a standard to be strived for, but a lens with which to view life through.

Grace wins for me every time.

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