Grace. What exactly is grace? What is grace all about? It is often a topic of discussion, but I think it is seldom completely understood. In fact, it is often miss-understood.
How often do you hear people talking about the wonderful grace of God? Yet, when you pay close attention, there is no sign of any grace in their own lives.
Others would be talking about grace and put on a smiley face, whilst pretending that everything is just fine (I kind of call this ‘living in denial’).
Interestingly enough, being active on the internet, I get exposed and introduced to various internet groups and communities. In one such a community I got introduced to a book on the topic with the title “Mosaic of Grace”, by James Prescott.
I wanted to know more and I decided to read the book.
I would like to share here what I got from the book and what it means to me.
I believe I could say I have had my own fair share of trials and tribulations to deal with in life. We all have to deal with the reality of life, and this is the first fact that I would like to highlight from this book. James Prescott doesn’t sugar-coat anything. He tells it as it is. Although he is making it his mission to spread the message of grace, he is not creating the illusion that we will be living in this bubble where we are ‘untouchable’.
Jesus himself said in John 16:33 (NIV); “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Grace Doesn’t Mean Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen
Life’s challenges don’t ask how old you are or whether you feel you are ready yet. It just happens, whether you are ready or not.
I would like to briefly share some of the challenges in my own life here, before I return to the book ‘Mosaic of Grace’.
I was a young boy of about 13 years old, when my father was involved in a very serious car-accident. He was a very strong person – physically as well as mentally. He was my ultimate hero and my role model.
He was a devoted Christian. I never saw him losing his temper with anyone, yet everybody had the greatest respect for him. His ‘yes’ was his ‘yes’, and his ‘no’ was ‘no’. However calm and even-tempered he was, just nobody ever argued with him.
Yet, at the age of 54, this accident came and destroyed his life. It wasn’t even his fault. My father was on his way to work. Another vehicle skipped a stop-sign….and my father’s life (and ours) were changed forever within a matter of seconds.
He remained in a coma for 10 days due to brain injuries. All the doctors and specialists could say was; “at least he is still breathing…” Beyond that, they had no real hope.
My father recovered beyond the doctors’ expectations, but physically, he never was the same man as before the accident.
My mother had to fight against bitterness, and I started following in her footsteps. It just wasn’t fair. My father didn’t deserve any of this.
Yet again, it was my father who frequently brought calmness back into the situation. He pointed out how – by grace – his life was spared and he could still spend time with us. We were blessed and privileged to have him with us for another 18 years after the accident.
Grace Doesn’t Mean Things Will Work Out The Way We Want It
When my father passed away, my mother was well taken care of. She was left behind with good medical care and no debt – not even a mortgage to be paid. My father made good provision.
My mother was always very quick to trust people and always wanted to help. She got manipulated by someone and ended up losing everything. By the time I realized what was going on, it was too late.
My dream was to provide her with enough comfort again to enjoy her final ‘golden years’. In 2008 though, disaster struck and I lost my business during a bad economy. My dreams were shattered and before I could recover, my mother passed away too.
Staying in Touch With Reality
These are just a few examples from my own life. But this post is not about my life, it is about my discovery of the book ‘Mosaic of Grace’ and what I have learned from it.
Many times I would hear people talking about ‘positive thinking’. I have nothing against positive thinking. In fact, I’m all for it. But to say (or think) you are just going to start thinking positive thoughts, and your life is going to change as if by some magic, is ‘building castles in the sky’ in my opinion.
On the other hand (especially amongst many Christians), I would hear people talking about God’s grace. Again, I’m all for it and I am totally convinced about the grace of God. I believe in God’s grace. But I also believe we shouldn’t try to exist in our own little bubble and lose contact with reality. We should remain informed and fully aware of all that is happening in the world around us.
I shudder when I think about what will happen when that bubble pops for many people living that way.
We shouldn’t aim to only be on the receiving end of grace. We should also be available as vessels, to carry God’s grace to those around us.
Do I believe in God’s grace? Yes. Do I believe in divine protection? Yes. Do I believe in being blessed by God? Again, yes. But that doesn’t mean we must become ignorant of what is happening in the world around us. We should learn more from the Word of God, and learn how to apply the Word in everyday life.
Grace Is Available To Us All
We can live by grace. We can receive God’s grace, here, now, in this life time. Yet, it is not taking away the fact that we will still face trouble in this world. But, by God’s grace, we can become strong and learn how to handle those troubles.
This is why I absolutely love this book. It deals with reality. James Prescott doesn’t deny the existence of trouble and hardships. He doesn’t portray himself as the expert who knows it all and can handle any situation. No, he is honest enough to open up and use examples from his own life. He shares his own struggles and failures on his journey through life. He also shares case studies from other real life people who faced (and some are still facing) serious challenges in life.
From reading the book “Mosaic of Grace’, it becomes clear to me again; grace is available to all of us.
Is this book for you? I don’t know. Have you messed up badly? Do you feel you always have to perform to receive any form of recognition? Do you have enough courage to just be you? Do you feel like a failure? How, or by what standards do you measure your self-worth in life? Would you be willing to accept God’s grace?
If you have any of these questions or if you have answered yes to any of these questions; yes, I do believe this book is for you. I believe this book is for everyone because grace is for everyone.
It Is Up To You
As I have shared a few of my own challenges in this post -and I am currently still facing major challenges – I found comfort and confirmation in the pages of this book. Grace is not just about having it easy. It’s not just about having it my way.
We don’t always understand everything. We don’t always have all the answers. But God’s grace is always sufficient, even if we don’t understand it all.
It’s giving me the courage to know that I’m not alone. God is always there for me. He will never leave me and He will never forsake me. God’s grace will always be available to me, but I have to accept it fully and trust Him.
I will strongly recommend this book to anyone. Find out more about Mosaic of Grace here. James Prescott is making it his mission to spread the message of grace. May God bless him on his journey.
Tell me what you think of the book in the comment section below. Tell me about your journey and how you experience the grace of God.