Of all the times for the boy to forget to do his asthma-managing breathing treatment . . . it was on a day when we were already thirty minutes down the road to an adventure.
On vacation, he’d already neglected to check his inhaler and make sure it still had medicine in it. I had no idea how many days he’d puffed on empty . . . which led to a prolonged asthma flare-up, lots of coughing, and purple-rimmed eyes.
On this morning, as the flare-up finally calmed, this boy I love acted in the way a child does . . . sometimes forgetful. We’d been in a hurry to get on the road for the forty minute drive to our outing. Is it really so surprising amid all the other preparations that he forgot this important part of his morning routine?
I wanted to lecture, to raise my voice, even. But what tone would that have set for what was supposed to be a fun day?
And how many times have I been the one hurrying through activities and forgotten a significant detail? How many times in my rush to get somewhere else do I miss an important detail in the now?
It happens. To the organized and to the scattered.
There is grace, even in the forgetting.
How many times have we rushed headlong into an activity—into meeting the appointments on our calendars—and forgotten to spend time with God first?
We all forget things—important things—at least some of the time.
But God . . .
God gives us grace. He doesn’t lecture us. He doesn’t point His divine finger in our faces and say, “How could you forget? Again?”
He loves us with His perfect Father’s love. He doesn’t often spare us from those consequences, but neither does He condemn.
For my boy, on that morning? It meant Hubby made a ninety-minute drive to the hotel room and back to where we were. It meant an interruption to our family’s plans so Peter could enjoy the rest of his day without coughing.
Was it inconvenient and frustrating? Yes.
Sometimes, we have to choose let go of the frustration we have with another and offer the simple gift of grace.
Grace looks like no lectures, but instead a hug. Or the squeeze of a hand. It often means staying quiet when we’d rather let loose a few of our feelings for the inconvenience we had to endure. Grace looks like kindness instead of condemnation. It looks like a smile rather than a judgmental frown.
I’ve been so quick to give the opposite of grace more times than I care to admit.
But when I think about the grace God’s given me, over . . . and over . . . and over again? I realize that if I want to walk like Jesus—if I want to live with the joy and the freedom Jesus walked out—I need to give grace . . . .
To those who inconvenience me.
To those who make decisions that affect me.
To those who’ve hurt me.
Grace lived out is rarely easy. But it is beautiful, redemptive and peace-inducing.
So if—when—one of my boys forgets a crucial thing at a bad moment, I hope I act like Jesus does and offer grace instead of my first reactive response.
What about you? When has someone extended grace to you in a life-changing way? How do you practice giving grace in your daily living?