Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Lesson In Grace

Sometimes, God gives me a glimpse of His grace in unsuspecting ways. This is the story of how He took my irresponsibility and used it to teach my heart that is so prone to worry a little lesson in trusting Him. 

One of my professors does portfolio checks twice unannounced in the semester. Last Thursday, I had a feeling that she would check them but immediately dismissed the thought. I walked into class that night, and the first thing we were asked to do was to hand in our portfolios. I froze. This is unlike me, but I hadn't updated my portfolio since the first time it was checked, so I was behind on nearly a month and a half's worth of work. I don't recall ever intentionally turning anything in that was done halfheartedly (or even worse, not done at all) so I was almost too embarrassed to hand it in but ended up doing so anyway. We were asked to return in an hour to get them back graded. 

That was the longest hour of my life. I ran to the library and frantically typed up as many notes as I could, all the while rehearsing possible explanations in my head. I spent the last ten minutes in my school's prayer chapel praying for grace, a second chance, for God to soften my professor's heart, anything! (I don't care if that makes me sound like a total dork.) 

I walked into my professor's office nervously and was prepared to be lectured about how I should be more responsible next time, ready to accept a zero for this assignment and take ownership for the consequences of my procrastination. I went in, picked up my portfolio, and silently walked out.

As I stepped outside, I looked at my grade and saw that she had still given me a B+. I remember saying “WHAT?!” out loud in utter disbelief. I'm not much of a crier, but tears began streaming down my face at this point. I felt a mixture of joy, confusion, and relief. I couldn't help but get down on my knees and thank God a million times over. 

I didn't write this post to encourage procrastination or laziness. I know that as a college student, I am called to do all things that God has entrusted me with in this season well. But if the only reason that this happened was so God could somehow reveal His grace to me more tangibly, then I'm okay with that. In the moment, I hated it, and I got a headache afterward because of the rollercoaster of emotions that came as a result, but I can say that I experienced God's grace in the process. 

I can't help but think of this verse in Psalms: “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:10-11). Now that's grace! An unfathomable, undeserved, precious gift.

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