Showing Up Empty Handed

July 17, 2018

A couple of years ago, my husband and I hosted a low key bible study on Galatians for the young adults in our church at the time. It was so good for my soul, to gather together with others and dig into the Word, hearing the different perspectives and revelations that God gave each one of us. And the neat thing about this group is that we weren't following some big name somebody. We were simply reading Galatians, verse by verse, and letting God reveal Himself to us.


In the midst of reading Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, the theme that we came across again and again was God’s grace. And in going back and reading through the old commentaries, handbooks and dictionaries that collect dust on our bookshelves, I found that there is a consecutive consensus that grace, in all of its fullness, cannot be explained nor measured, as it is too complex for words, too grand and otherworldly that our human minds cannot comprehend it. And to a degree, I think that’s correct. If God gave us all the answers, we would never be hungry for more, and thus we would never know true satisfaction and fulfillment. And yet in saying this, I also believe that God makes Himself, and the things of Himself, simple, so that He may be known by such insignificant, small-minded beings such as ourselves.


So, what is grace then?


All we are really told about grace in Scripture is that it is by grace, through faith, that we are saved. Paul writes time and time again in his bold letter to the Galatian churches that our works don’t matter when it comes to our salvation. We aren’t saved by how much we do, by how good we are, by what we can bring to Him. We are saved simply because He loves us, and because He zealously desires to be in relationship with us. This is grace.


And though grace is manifest most clearly in the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus, if we look closely enough, we find that every step of God’s salvation, from eternity past to everlasting future, is accomplished through grace, whether that be a large, significant event such as when Moses lead the Israelites out of bondage through the parted water of the Red Sea, or a small, seemingly insignificant conversation with a friend over coffee.


I mean, how wonderful and significant is that? God’s grace, His completely free and unmerited love for and favour towards us, allows us to show up before His throne completely and utterly empty handed. Through grace, God showers us with blessing after blessing. Through grace, He upholds us and gives us strength when we are weak and enduring hardships after hardships. Through grace, we are able to come before our friends, our coworkers, our family, our children, completely empty handed, and yet be completely worthy. Worthy of Him, and the love and life He so abundantly gives.


Where are you finding your worth lately? Is it in the things you bring, the things you do? Or is it in the One who loves you just as you are, even when you show up empty handed?




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