As a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to take a college-level English class at the university I now attend full time. There were 3 major papers due in the class, one of which was a research paper, with the topic of renewable energy. I was stressed about writing on this topic, as I knew next-to-nothing about it.
But renewable energy proved to be an intriguing study. After hours upon hours of research, filling up notecards, writing, editing, rewriting, properly listing resources, asking questions, and powering through headaches, you better believe I learned a thing or two about renewable energy!
It Won’t Run Out
One of the major benefits of renewable energy is how it doesn’t run out like ordinary energy sources; it’s exactly what it says it is: renewable. Solar panels aren’t going to suck the sun dry, and windmills aren’t going to suck up all the wind. You can go back and get more!
As my mind was constantly absorbed with thoughts of renewable energy, I started noticing parallels in life. One day my dad and I were in a discussion and he reminded me of the certainty that God’s grace is always abundant, yet never runs out. My first thought was: “It’s like renewable energy!”
The truth is, God’s character is impossible to fully comprehend. We, as humans, have mental boundaries. Our human understanding is limited, while our Lord is outside of these restraints. By human wisdom, understanding, and logic, we are simply unable to grasp how something that is abundantly given can never diminish in supply, strength, or intensity. This is why faith is necessary for salvation: it is impossible to believe just by what we see.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Once a Christ-follower, God gives us a special gift that no unbeliever can experience: the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works powerfully within us, removing the blinding scales once pasted to our eyes by unforgiven sin. We are able, in a sense, to see glimpses of God’s glory through experiencing the work of the Spirit, but we are still subject to confusion and limited understanding as long as we remain on earth.
One of the principles of God’s character that I always struggled to understand was grace (sort of ironic, considering my name is Grace). Such a small word, but such a pillar to our faith.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Understanding the Endlessness of God’s Power
Despite knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is the giver of grace and apart from that my faith is vain, I struggled to understand how God’s grace could never run out. The truth of the unending grace of God rubbed against my human reasoning, which argued that everything must have a limit.
We hear grace described as a fountain in old hymns; gushing, pouring, abundant, and cleansing. It is a good analogy, and helpful, too. I’ve also often pictured grace as a giant blanket, able to cover the entire person from head to toe. When I connected the ideas of renewable energy and grace, something made sense with a greater clarity than any other illustration had afforded.
Renewable energy is like grace, in that the source is always present. Energy cannot be emptied from the wind or the sun, yet we harvest energy anyway.
The challenge I ultimately faced, and the one I propose to you, is this: if I can trust God to raise the sun and send the breeze, how much more should I be able to trust His grace?
No matter what you’ve done, his grace trumps your transgression.
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
No matter the weakness or struggle, his grace is sufficient.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
No matter who you are, God extends you grace.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” (Titus 2:11)
The grace of God is truly supernatural. Just like we cannot comprehend the mysteries of the sun and the wind and their unending streams, we cannot comprehend the mystery of God’s grace, but we can know and trust that it exists and impacts our lives for eternity. If we can trust the sun to bring us energy, how much more should we be able to trust the grace of the God who created the sun?