I am asking the Lord about grace. I’m asking Him to reveal it to me in a new way. I want to see it with fresh eyes and a new heart. I intellectually know little of grace but have still experienced much of it. The Grace of God is a mystery we all want to receive. Who among us doesn’t wish to experience grace? I know of none. So, what does grace look like? I guess the first real question is, what is the purpose of grace?
The Purpose of the Grace of God
Grace has a purpose and that purpose is the bringing of us into a greater, fuller knowledge of God. It’s an experiential knowledge, which is so beyond mere mental understanding. While we can discuss the subject of grace until we’re blue in the face, in the end, it’s only when we experience the person of Grace that we truly know it.
The Grace of God isn’t sloppy. If grace was just the sweeping of sin, offenses, and faults under the rug, we wouldn’t know any more about God. My knowledge would not have increased one iota. The motivation of grace is for knowledge—knowledge of HIM. When the Lord expresses Grace, we know His loving and merciful nature. And though I might choose to continue in my sin, the Lord has revealed Himself to me, a God full of grace.
“Good is not always God’s will, but God’s will is always good.”
Grace and Christopher McCandless
I want to share with you a story of grace. I believe Chris McCandless’s story was a story of grace. This boy had a troubled soul and broke out into the world to find himself. There is a movie and books about his journey which ended in an apparent tragedy. But was it?
Chris McCandless died in the Alaskan wilderness after trekking in on a wilderness adventure. He wanted to cast off his worldly possessions and live off the land, and this he did. Unfortunately, he became sick in that wilderness by eating poisonous berries, which looked identical to an edible species. He then didn’t have the strength to make his way back to civilization for help.
In The Movies: Christopher McCandless
In the movie edition of his story, it showed him making peace with his story at the very end. It wasn’t overtly stated but it was there just the same. Now, I don’t imagine that I know Chris’ end state, only God knows if he truly did this work. And though I mention Chris here as an example, this post goes far beyond McCandless and his life. This story is so known and celebrated because it is all of our stories. We are all on a journey to find Peace. And the Grace of God isn’t always a story of sugar plum fairies and rainbow sprinkles. What grace usually is, is a story of our brutal encounter with grace. The person of Grace often allows our hardship, destruction, and even desperate happenings to reveal Himself as Grace.
For Chris McCandless, might grace have been exactly what happened to him? How do I know if Grace didn’t bring him to the edge of death, to do a work that wouldn’t have happened in normal circumstances, in order to take him through to meet Grace? Perhaps the events leading up to his demise were just the prescription to crack his heart’s code?!
Grace in Order to Know God
If life’s purpose is to know God, then the path He leads us on to gain that knowledge is a win. This path might not be the easiest or most pleasant route because we are fallen and broken. God isn’t committed to our comfort or even happiness. The end goal is knowing Him. Our journey to achieve this is matched by the goal, which is HIM. Like a combination to a lock, God knows the exact sequence to bring this about.
Was this Christopher McCandless ’ only route? Only God knows. Most would say, “What a waste!” But only God knew the path that would lead Chris to Himself. What if Chris’ story was precisely ordered to bring him to God? Would it have been worth it, regardless of the difficulty? His abuse, pain, rebellion and demise all to have the opportunity to know that God was God of his story, from beginning to end?
Grace of LIGHT
The movie rendition shows Chris having a moment of extreme light at the end of his days. He was raised in a home that claimed Christianity, even though it was very abusive. All these were factors in God’s design because He is sovereign. If the producer of the film got it correct, Chris met his Touchstone. I believe God is able to reveal His secrets whether or not people know they’re being used. It ultimately is to be seen by those who are looking. I trust that God was able to direct the movie producer to expose His story in Chris’ tale. The Grace of God is a Light who’s shine will be seen.
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
Isaiah 45:7 ESV