Traversable Grace

Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it. 

Hebrews 4:16

 

Snow days.  How can you not love them?  Well, I guess if I had an occupation other than school teacher, I might be inclined to receive them with less enthusiasm.  But, since I am a teacher, I love them as much today as I did when I was young!  There’s something stolen about these days that’s derived from the feeling of getting something that you weren’t supposed to have; instead of a scheduled day, it’s a free-calendar day!  I guess, in this, I am a thrill seeker:  a snow day kleptomaniac.  It’s not that I don’t want to go to school; it’s not that I don’t want to enjoy the company of students; it’s not that I don’t want to enjoy the routine of a daily schedule; it’s just that I love getting something for nothing!  And when the phone call comes through…the one whose message I already know before I press one to hear the recording…I feel the excitement rising and the anticipation mounting as I prepare to receive yet another “free day”!

Well, with that said, today was a snow day.  For me, that means catching up on reading while perched beside a window that permits me to watch the falling snow.  My mind, however, always wanders and thoughts pile up as quickly as the snow.  Childhood memories form a flurry of their own and, before the day is through, I’m outside tromping in the snow.

I don’t know which comes first:  the admiration of the snow or the thanksgiving for the snow.  But, regardless of the order, the outcome is always the same; the result is a lesson from the snow.  A few years ago, it emerged in a poem entitled “Snowflakes of Grace”.  Then, there was the lesson of Dirty Grace followed by the revelation of The Accentuation of Grace.  And today, thinking there couldn’t be “anything new under the snow”, I saw there was something new on top of the snow.

The realization came as I walked through the woods…over hill and over dale, so to speak.  I love making the first footsteps in unchartered snow, so I took the liberty of claiming new lands to the right and to the left.  In doing so, I walked in areas that I normally would steer clear of.  There’s the swampy area that I avoid, unless I want to have a pair of boots sucked off my feet.  There’s the uncleared area that I detour around, lest I feel the need to start cleaning it up.  And, lastly, there’s the ‘snakey’ area that I respectfully circumvent because, well…if I were a snake, that’s where I would live.  But, today…today…today I put my footprints where no man has gone before…or at least not since last winter!  And, when I realized that nothing was off limits this time of year, that everyplace was navigable when covered in snow, I knew I’d received my newest lesson on grace…which, for me, is always blanketed in snow.

Snow is seasonal; it comes when it’s cold.  Grace is seasonal, it comes when we sin.  Snow, because of the season in which it occurs, is accompanied by temperatures that make some areas more traversable…and less snakey, let’s definitely not forget the less snakey element…decreasing our boundaries and increasing our territorial borders.  Just as snow makes everything accessible, so too does grace make everything usable.  Are there areas in our life that sin causes us to avoid?  Areas that suck the boots off our feet and clutter our paths?  Grace can cover that.  Are there areas we avoid because we’re afraid of what might lie in the unseen…in the creations of our mind and not the reality of our sight?  Grace can illuminate and provide new vision.  Just as snow falls in its season, so too does grace fall in its season.  The beauty, however, is that the season for grace is perpetual; grace, truly, is never out of season.  Since it’s ushered in by the jet stream of our waywardness, the winds of grace are always circling.

How wonderful to know that God sprinkles grace over all of our terrain, making that which was once avoidable and in need of a detour sign, now fully accessible and even traversable!  There is nothing that grace cannot cover; there is no place that grace cannot fall; there is no sin that grace cannot restructure; there is no one whom grace cannot transform!

As I walked the unchartered areas of the woods, God showed me the unlimited access of His grace.  As I saw the vast area that snow allowed me to traverse, God revealed the vast area that grace allows me…and others…to tread.  As I saw the seasonal element of snow, God showed me the seasonal attribute of grace.  How refreshing it is to walk in nature and to hear from the One who has lessons scattered about for all to find…if we will but look…and listen.

Here’s to walking in the snow.  Here’s to walking upon grace.  Here’s to grace walking all over us.  Here’s to lives that are accessible and traversable in season and never out of season!

Hark!  Is that my phone?  Could it be…oh, my…it is!  Here come those wonderful words… “This is a call from the board of education…please press one to hear this important message”.  I know the words that I will hear, and yet…I still have to press that number one!

 

Author: Kris Smith

I live in West Tennessee with my husband of nearly 30 years and our two boys, ages 20 and 17. My love is education...specifically Christian education. For the past twenty years, I have served as a teacher and also principal. Now, however, I find myself in a new season...a quieter season...a difficult season. What I have done full throttle for the past two decades, I am no longer doing. As I adapt to this adjustment and seek the path God is clearing for me, I find myself wanting to share what God is teaching me with others. And so, here I am. Listening and learning from the Master Teacher Himself. I hope the lessons He teaches me are applicable to you as well.

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