Unreasonable requests, unreasonable grace

I looked at the sign on the door and asked my daughter if she wanted to change her mind.

That is to say, I asked her again.

I’d been asking her for a month after receiving the pamphlet about two historical day-camps in our area, visiting living history sites and creating projects like Indian pottery and a windmill.

My oldest daughter asked me to sign her up right away.

My middle daughter declined just as quickly with a brief “no thanks” and a determined shrug.037

But we stood there and looked at the sign on the door on day one of the first camp: Spots still open for future sessions in the other location.

So I asked again and once again she shook her head with an emphatic and decisive “no.”

Until the next day at 11:00 a.m., just two hours before camp started for the day, when she inched over to me and whispered: “Mom, I’ve changed my mind.”

She needed help overcoming foolishness, stubbornness and fear, help with redirection and what to do next, help figuring all this out and making right what was wrong.

And she was willing to ask me for it, to trust me with her problem because it was just too big for her after all.

My mom’s heart broke for her because I love her, that’s why.  Even if it was her own choice and the mess of her own making, still I felt that stirring of grace.

I knew what it took for her to stand at my feet and confess truth.

I knew because haven’t I stumbled to the feet of Jesus with mistakes and failures covered in a right-awful mess time and time and too many times again?

Hadn’t I hung my head so low and cried because I knew it was my own foolish fault and how could I expect grace so undeserved?

But that’s what grace is: Unearned, unmerited, undeserved, poured out all over us never because we’ve racked up enough good behavior points to cash in for a blessing.  Given because He loves us, simply because He chooses to give.

So, I told my daughter I couldn’t promise anything, but I’d ask about her joining in the next camp.

She was so bold.  She asked, couldn’t she after all just join in the camp that was taking place that day AND the next one in a few weeks?

I was too embarrassed to even ask for anything so unreasonable when I called the official number on the phone and left a voicemail message. I inquired about open spaces in the next session and left it at that.

Then we packed into the car and drove almost an hour for day two of the first camp session and walked in with my oldest daughter.  The lady manning the sign-in table saw me and realized I had left the voicemail message about the girl who changed her mind.

And she asked:  Would my daughter like to just join the class today so she didn’t miss out and then do the one in a month, too?

My daughter nodded, I signed the form and she was in.

Just like that.

But I paused a moment with this girl of mine before sending her into that classroom for the day.  I looked into two bright blue eyes and said—“Look what God did for you” and then I cried my way right out of there.

Because God had showed her this abundance of grace, more than I had even dared to ask for.

It was unreasonable grace.

But then, isn’t all grace really “unreasonable?”

The prophet Isaiah wrote:

I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:13 NLT).

and he says:

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers (Isaiah 65:24 NLT).

I consider this today when I’m thinking of need and not God’s promises, thinking of trouble and not His strength, thinking of what’s wrong and not how He loves me.

Hadn’t God loved my daughter enough to surprise her with this grace?  Hadn’t it been a shocking gift, so generous, so much more than I was even bold enough to request?

And God loves us like that. He comforts us like a mother comforts her child, not just with a hug and a tissue for the tears.  No, with intervention and provision, without remonstration or annoyance, but with so much compassion.

He doesn’t just answer the prayers we pray…but those we can’t even groan out, those we aren’t brave enough to put into words, those we’re sure are too much to ask and the ones we don’t deserve answered.

Reasonable?  No, not at all.

But grace, yes, grace the way God gives.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

6 thoughts on “Unreasonable requests, unreasonable grace

  1. Susan Young says:

    Love the story and the scripture “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers (Isaiah 65:24 NLT).” Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Heather C. King says:

      I’m so thankful God gives us these teachable moments with our kids. Sometimes I miss them, but I want so very much to use them whenever I can to build up their faith and see how God is at work!!

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