Back before we moved to Oregon, I was on hold waiting for the next customer service rep. We had to make a payment arrangement again and my hope was they wouldn’t cut off our electricity. Oh I had rehearsed in my head over and over what I would say and I was nervous as could be. What if I get a mean person who has no patience?, I get those people when I call about a bill. “Oh God help me and find favor in me this morning, give me a nice person, an understanding person to talk to, please!” Suddenly, a woman answered the phone. Her voice seemed soft and sweet. Maybe she’ll understand as I explain why we can’t pay this bill right now.
“We need a little more time ma’am, our income has really decreased over the past year…”, I say.
Then I’m shocked…
“Well, Ms. McDougal, you and your husband have been our customers for a long time and you’ve always paid your bill on time, we understand things happen and we can give you till the end of the month if that will help you.”
“Oh yes, please, that will help!, will we have to cover late fees?”
I’m begging in my mind the answer will be no.
“No ma’am, I think we can waive that, so I’ve noted this on your account and it is still in good standing. So, is there anything else I can do for you today?”
“Oh, no, thank you so much!”
“Well Ms. McDougal, thank you for calling and being our customer and you have a blessed day.”
“You too”, I say.
Just after that call, I realized two things…
- She said “blessed“, could she have been a believer or an angel from Heaven?!
- And… She extended grace to me to give me time to come up with the money.
I was so happy that God had answered my prayer. Hubby and I have never liked paying bills late, but I was thankful that she didn’t tell me there was nothing they could do and tomorrow the lights would be off. And, we don’t use the electricity just to live in the house, but we work in too. Without it, we might as well close down the business.
But those couple of years had not been kind to us. When the economy crashed, we were hit hard. Our income was large one day and almost non-existent the next. Still, God was extending grace to us.
So, I was relieved and we did pay that bill before the end of the month. I was doing a happy dance after that call. I was extended grace. And that was just the grace of man. How much more grace do we receive from God when we make Him our Savior and Lord?
God’s grace is like no other. I didn’t praise that lady on the phone for what she did, I knew it was God that moved on our situation and allowed me to talk to someone who was willing to help me.
And, when I was in sin and not thinking at all about God, He was thinking about me. He knew one day I would give my heart to Him and He would become my Lord. He cared about everything I was doing at the time. He was grieved that I was destroying my life with my bad choices. He saw me going down a road that was leading nowhere and He got me off it just in the nick of time.
As, I study God’s grace, I want to truly understand what Christ did on the cross and how His grace is part of my life everyday. I want to embrace grace in a way I haven’t before. Times now are even harder and I need Jesus every minute.
I looked up the word “grace” and I really like the way it was defined on Christian Courier:
“In the New Testament, “grace” (156 times) takes on a special redemptive sense in which God makes available his favor on behalf of sinners, who actually do not deserve it.”
Isn’t that sweet?, Jesus extended favor on us when we didn’t deserve it. That’s was so awesome about grace. There is nothing we can do to earn it. It is a gift.
And just like with that electric bill, we used the service and owed the money every month. We didn’t deserve a grace period. Basically, if we don’t pay the bill in full on time, the utility company has every right to shut off the electricity until the bill is paid.
But the grace extended to me was favor…God’s favor. I didn’t get what I deserved, instead I got mercy and grace.
We might not fully understand God’s sacrifice for us, but maybe all we need to do is just accept the gift and be thankful for it everyday.