During my adolescent years, I had a penchant for one thing – spilling. I mean, I was really, really, REALLY good at it. Pour me some milk, and the next thing I knew it was all over the table. Pour me some soda, and within seconds it was on the floor. Grab a quick glass of water after playing outdoors, and whoops, there it went, all over the counter. My penchant for spillage was so strong that my family adorned me with a not-so-delightful moniker. I was known as “The Spiller.” It was supposed to be funny. While I’m sure it was to them, and that they meant no harm by it, I was not all that amused. At times, I felt guilty, ashamed, even demeaned.
I have no doubt that this special talent of mine was exasperating for my parents. Indeed, on more than one occasion after a spilling incident I was looked at cross, talked to sternly, and/or threatened with “no more to drink!” This was, in my opinion, quite understandable. After all, my other siblings were quite capable of emptying a container of liquid by actually drinking the liquid, rather than spilling it. What was my problem?
Although I’ve gotten older, and am now able to drink sans spillage, I continue to consider myself a spiller. Not of milk, soda, coffee, or other sundry liquids. No, I am now a spiller of God’s grace.
God’s grace, like a cold beverage on a hot day, is meant to refresh us, to restore us, indeed to sustain us. But when I sin, especially when I do so purposefully (yes, it happens), I immediately feel as though I’ve just spilled His grace all over the place. And when I do, just as when I would spill liquid as a child, I make a mess. I immediately feel ashamed. I immediately feel guilty. I immediately feel demeaned.
But then something wondrous happens. Even though I am a repeat offender, even though I am “The Spiller,” the Holy Spirit reminds me that God does not, and will not, look at me cross. He will not punish me. He will not threaten me. Shoot, He won’t even give me a “funny” little nickname. Instead, He simply dispenses His grace back into me; back into my soul. He refills me with His refreshing, restorative, sustaining grace. In doing so, rather than encouraging carelessness about grace-spilling, it encourages me to be more careful. It strengthens me. It lets me know that He has confidence in me.
I know I will continue to experience episodes of grace-spillage. And yes, I will still have to live with the mess and stain each leaves. But more importantly, I know that God loves me, regardless.
Thank you, God, for your never-ending love. Thank you, God, for your never-ending grace.