Grace in the Turnarounds

“By God’s grace I am what I am.” I Corinthians 15:10

The apostle Paul writes, “By God’s grace I am what I am.”      Paul thought he was doing God’s will, that he was on a holy quest as he set off from Jerusalem, intending to arrest followers of Jesus and bring them back. He thought he was on a journey that God would bless as he  headed  to Damascus. His plans were interrupted by a flash of light and a voice that called his name, asking, *“Why do you persecute me.” When he asked who are you, he heard: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Acts 9:4-5    Instead of doing God’s work, he was doing the opposite. This startling revelation would change the trajectory of Paul’s life. It had to have been a distressful and humbling moment.

As it is for any of us who have staked our reputation, investing time and energy into something we believed to be true. Only to learn later there were nuances about our facts, we were unaware of. The truth we were certain of, was far from it. Thinking we were wise, we had been foolish. Our wisdom had not been wisdom at all. What we thought we knew was true, wasn’t. But there is grace. God’s grace that offers u-turns and second chances.

Where would any of us be and who would we be, without God’s grace and present in our lives? As we think over of our lives, we see the crossroads where decisions are made and directions set. Today, we recognize God’s guiding hand was encompassing and supporting us.

We call to mind the people God set into our lives, who counseled and guided us. We see mistakes we might have made, if not for God’s grace in the moment. We note opportunities given to regroup when we messed up.

The backwards glance reveals not only our mistakes, but our right steps . . . The hard decisions made with the little light we could see by . . . A path that opened when others were firmly shuttered beside us.

There is this sense, of a guiding hand nudging us, leading us, unseen but ever present. God’s grace upon Grace.

* Paul’s Damascus road experience is recorded three times in the Biblical book of Acts, found in chapters 9, 22 and 26.

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