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Dressed in Grace

DressedinGraceThere is much that we could learn from the community known as Alcoholics Anonymous. I remember years ago when I was touring with my band, and I had a conversation with another Christian artist who had just been released from a drug and alcohol treatment center.

“I grew up in the church,” he said. “I’ve gone all my life and felt like a stranger. When I stood up in that first AA meeting and said, ‘Hi by name is Bill and I’m an alcoholic,’ I felt as if I had finally found a place to belong. No one looked at me as if to say, ‘Well, how shocking!’ it was as if at the bottom of the barrel of my life, I found a place to be real and honest and accepted. I finally found grace.”

Bill Wilson, the cofounder of AA, reached and unshakable conviction, now expressed in twelve-step programs around the world, that an alcoholic must reach bottom before he can climb back up. He said, “How privileged we are to understand so well the divine paradox that strength rises from weakness, that humiliation goes before resurrection, that pain is not only the price but the very touchstone of spiritual health.”

Surely that is true for everyone who loves God. In my life it was only when I was at my weakest, my most broken, that I was able with empty hands to reach out and receive God’s grace. When God has extended this kind of unmerited favor to you, it will forever change how you respond to others who stand in that same need.

Will you dress in grace? Don’t you long for the freedom to stand up and say, “Hi, my name is ___________, and I’m a sinner”?

Is it hard for you to accept this gift that makes no sense in human terms?

Would it be easier if there were something that you could do to feel as if you are pulling your weight?

As you sit with all that’s true about your life and circumstances at this moment, will you let Jesus dress you in His grace?

In the movie Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts, there is a scene where Richard Gere buys her a beautiful dress before he takes her out to dinner. My girlfriends thought it was so wonderful, but it made me cringe. It poked and prodded insecurities from my past.

If I see myself in that kind of moment, here is what it looks like to me. I pull the dress out of the box. It’s exquisite. The fabric is soft and it shimmers in the candlelight. But even as I hold it up, I know that it won’t fit me. It will be too tight in the chest, or it won’t be smooth over my hips. I go into the bathroom to try it on and remember I haven’t shaved my legs. I sit on the toilet seat and cry. Shame is what I would be dressed in without Christ.

God’s grace comes to us as a beautiful gift. If you hold it up, you will see that it’s a perfect fit. Not only that, but as you slip it on, it covers a multitude of sins.

From The Heartache No One Sees ©2004 by Sheila Walsh (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.

Comments

  1. 3 months ago Avatar of
    Nomathamsanqa jacqueline Ndlovu says

    Thank you Jesus.

  2. 3 months ago
    Jen says

    In your article, you talk about being able to be exposed & real in an AA meeting. I have been going to Celebrate Recovery (CR) for 6 years now and the biggest difference between AA & CR is that CR proclaims Jesus Christ as our savior & continues to talk of his grace, AA can only declare a Higher Power but I believe even more important than that is CR covers all hurts, hang ups, & habits…. Food addiction, pride, drug addictions, codependency, alcohol, fear, porno, food, what ever has held you back from having that closeness with God & most important there is no judgement & what is said in the room stays there. So if you are suffering, look up a CR in your area it may be the 2nd best move you ever take. Don’t worry I was scared to death to walk through the door, 6 years later I loves the broken me included.

    • 3 months ago
      Lisa ZeRuth says

      I really like what you wrote in your comment abt AA and CR. I just found out abt CR but haven’t went yet. I have been an alcoholic for over 20 yrs and nothing has helped. I have been in treatment centers over and over again. I am very reluctant to go to go to AA or CR. I feel like I don’t belong there that everyone else is so much better off than me. I am very uncomfortable. My therapist gave me this site in hopes that I could get some input that might help me. I haven’t been drinking since Aug. but have slipped up a few times. I know I need something else in my life to help me stay clean and sober I just don’t know what. I don’t really look at my Email but I am on facebook under Lisa Acres ZeRuth I would take any advice from anyone I am lost.

  3. 3 months ago
    Mary says

    I have also wrote an article on the 12 steps for Christian women with chronic stress. The 12 steps have been very helpful to me. Yes we can all be dress in Grace by God if we ask for it.

  4. thank you. I just got a lump in my throut after reading this. I never saw it that way.

  5. 3 months ago
    Linda Humphrey says

    Thank you so much for this today. GRACE has always meant so much to me and often I would reject it. Recently during a great trying time with my husband’s illness, I said to the Lord one day that what I was really needing was grace. I needed it so I could give it to him! All day I prayed for grace. At the end of the day the homecare agency called and announced…”Your nurse will be there tomorrow, her name is Grace.” I smiled and said, “Well, of course it is!” God has a sense of humor. We only saw her once but what a vivid reminder that He cares for us in all areas of our life. He lets us know that in many ways.

    • 3 months ago
      Gail says

      What a blessing your post was to me as I,m praying for a friend with cancer and needs to walk with the Lord

  6. 3 months ago
    Avichaia Batya-Boston says

    You touched me in this. The dress part….yes, that is me.

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