"It is not enough for me that God has given me grace once, but He must give it always. I ask, that I may receive; and when I have received, I ask again. I am covetous of receiving God's bounty. He is never slow in giving, nor am I ever weary of receiving. The more I drink, the more thirsty I become."
Cars run on gasoline, people run on grace. Without God's grace we would stall and break down every single day. Grace is everything and everything is a grace. Every single thing in life can be a stepping stone to the Almighty God if we allow it to be. I have a little booklet that I like to leaf through now and then called The Healing Flame of Love by Brother Leonard and one section of this booklet speaks about how grace works in our lives. The author's words are in italics, mine are in bold.
a. Grace is completely available.
There is not just one thing to do at each moment, or I fail to do God's will; there are a multitude of actions presented to me by grace. Different ways to act are as available as different items in a supermarket - yet appointed for my needs with great care.
This is something that always confused me before I read this book. Was there one "perfect" God-willed thing that I should be doing each minute of the day? Was I doing God's will or my own? Some things are common sense such as taking care of one's family or working, but what about the rest of the day? The idea that there are a multitude of actions presented to me at any given time and that they are in line with God's will for me relieved my heart and mind.
b. Grace gives us the physical ability to do the things necessary for salvation.
c. Cooperation with grace puts me in touch with a tremendous power. If we believe that we are and can do nothing, we must believe there is a power that can do everything. This power is, of course, God. Cooperation with His ideas, acceptance of His plans can make the power available.
Example: You cannot push a freight train, yet a small movement of the throttle and the whole train starts to move.
d. Grace operates below the level of consciousness.
Wonderful things - like the operation of grace, God speaking to us, the Spirit moving us, etc. - are continually causing changes in our soul. We are unaware either of their action or their significance.
Example: Consider what happens in Baptism, etc., or what happened when the prodigal son said, "I will return..."
We can't "see" grace, but we can often see the results of grace. It is impossible not to notice the work God has done in me over the years. Were I took look day by day, the effects grace has had on my life may be imperceptible but if I look over a period of ten years they are profound. I shake my head in amazement at God's power. Yes, I have a long way to go, but I have also come a long way.
e. God will not sanctify me against my will, but He can change my will to make it agree with His desires.
Yes, He did this to me. What a tremendous gift!
f. Grace is a receiving.
The really important thing to understand about grace is that we receive it as a gift. We do not earn it or receive it because we seem to have done something to deserve it. If we are at all interested in arriving at a high degree of prayer (in order to increase our output) we must appreciate this function of grace, for in contemplation our activity is a receiving.
I love this one. Grace is unearned and unmerited. It is a pure, free gift given by a loving God. Every single person on this earth is a recipient of God's grace though they may not realize it.
We live on grace.