There is a gap in every one of us between who we are and who we should be. Maybe it’s the gap that sin creates. In psychology it may be termed as the gap between the “real” self and the “ideal” self. When God sees that gap, filled with sins, inconsistency, disintegration, pride, and darkness, He fills it with Grace.
“While we were still weak,” Romans 5:6 says, “at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
I think that word “weak” is better translated “dead,” literally meaning “without vital signs.” When we were dead, when we were lost, when there was a gap between the image we were created to live in and the image our lives exemplified: God filled that space with Grace.
That space between what we say and what we do, He fills.
That space between the reputation we work to build and the ugly realities we hide to build it, He fills.
The gap between who we are and who we pretend to be, the canyon between our image and our character, the schism between “Pastor Andrew” and….well… Andrew…He fills that space with Grace.
Thank You JESUS. Literally.
You know what’s crazy? I’m thankful that God filled (and fills) that space in my life with Grace, and that I can live in the freedom that His Grace brings every single day. But you know what’s nuts? Most of the time when I get a chance to fill that space with grace in others–I get “righteous.” Maybe the better term is “self-righteous.” I get into “justice,” and to me, when I feel slighted or cheated or inconvenienced–“justice” means sucking grace out of that space. When I get an opportunity to fill “space with grace” in others–I usually miss it at the first pass. I fly by and rush to judgment. I zoom past understanding and instead land on presumption.
The space between sin and freedom in my life is BRIDGED by Grace, but I often treat that bridge like a toll-road. If you’ve ever lived in the Northeast you realize that toll roads are ridiculous. It’s just a road, a slab of asphalt with lines on it that connects one place to another, but you have to pay to drive on it! Hideous. Often times when we don’t understand inconsistencies in others (despite overlooking them in ourselves), we make the bridge from sin to freedom a toll road. We demand payment. We expect explanation. And when we know we’re right and someone else is wrong, the toll isn’t $3.25, it’s $1 trillion. It is so high that no one person could ever pay it. But that’s just the way we like it. We stand there, looking down from our bridge to freedom (a bridge we are standing on simply by God’s grace) and we demand payment from others.
Remember the space for Grace. Don’t forget that the space for Grace in your life is filled by Jesus for FREE. And when you see “space for Grace” in others, get on your knees before the God who fills gaps and ask Him to remind you of your debt.