Paper Towel Grace

Our morning

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Those words escaped my lips before I could pull back the exasperated tone at the emptied cup clattering around, slogging milk across the kitchen.

Immediately my son’s head went down and soggy footprints marked the tile floor as he trudged away in shame.

With a deep breath, I went around the expanding white splash zone, and gave him a hug. It was okay. It was just milk. I know he didn’t mean to – it was an accident, I said. I love you, and we will get it cleaned up. After a few minutes of encouragement, he lifted his head. We rearranged the breakfast table so we could finish our pancakes, and I poured a fresh glass of milk for him.

I had just put out a new roll of paper towel on the kitchen holder, and generously laid it down to cover the mess.

Just like that, in the midst of our crazy morning, the kids and I were treated by God to a picture of grace.

During my church’s Sunday evening service, a video was played of people swirling around a city, the hustle and rush of life speeding across the screen, and then everything stopped as the voice over urged us to “be still” and know God. I get the sentiment, and it resonates, but that’s not how life is most of the time. It doesn’t stop, it just keeps spinning faster as our kids grow, and ministry expands and the stuff of life continues to come. Milk gets spilled, and messes are made.

So, how do we as a family live that verse out, when our kids can’t stay still or keep a cup upright?

Paper towel grace.

God shows up in the midst of milk splatter and covers our mistakes and sin and spills with a generous layer of grace, soaking up the shame and worry and defeat. God helps still our hearts and minds, and to know His presence in the midst of the chaos, busy schedules and reality of life. Because, He IS peace. He is who we need most.

2 Corinthians 2:9 reminds me of this: “Each time (God) said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.'”

As I’m staring at my kitchen floor that needs mopped this morning, that’s what I need to hear, and need to know.

God is saying to me, and to you: My grace is ALL you need.

Thank you Lord, for your amazing grace, and the brand new package of paper towels in the closet.

The Great Promise

My calling is the Great Commission. It’s why I am here, and why you are here, too. God made us to go and grow with Him, and to share the love He so extravagantly poured out for us.

As Christians, we know that the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 are our marching orders. Yet, so many of our feet are stuck to the ground, motionless and unsure. In our hearts we want to be on mission for Jesus. We want the world to know Him! But, we don’t know where to begin. Go where? Make disciples how? Teach what? The harvest is tremendous, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to be called to something so far beyond our capabilities.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As God has emblazoned His calling and commission on our hearts, He works in ways that we can’t take credit for so that we give Him ALL the glory!! God wants us to step out with Him in faith to the fields white unto harvest, knowing that we can’t do this on our own and must fully rely on Him.

Every command in God’s Word is also a promise. As God calls and commands, He promises. So, when Jesus commands us to GO — He is there guiding, sending, leading, making a way. When He commands us to “make disciples of all nations” — He is there moving hearts, giving us His Words of life, doing miracles, drawing all men to Himself. When He commands us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit — He is there witnessing from Heaven and receiving our worship. When He commands us to “teach them to observe all that He commanded” — He is there teaching us, laying out His truth that will not return void, imprinting His Word in hearts and compelling us all to action. And, when Jesus ends this all-consuming, life-changing command with the promise that Jesus HIMSELF is with us always ā€” HE MEANS IT.

This is our calling ā€” this is why we were madeĀ ā€” to Go and Grow and give glory to our Savior!

So, when we wake up each morning, it’s an opportunity to go, to share Jesus with our words and with our actions, to let the Gospel overflow our hearts. Let’s start each day asking God to lead us right where we need to be, to give us the words to share that will speak to each person’s heart, to show us how to love people the way Jesus loves them. Pray that God would push us through the doors He’s opened to boldly proclaim the Good News, and invite people to respond. Today, let’s ask God for the opportunities to reach into people’s lives here, and the uttermost places on the earth.

We can “go, therefore” because these verses in Matthew are not only our commission, they are His promise.