The Power of Grace

by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff

During these challenging times in our world, it is appropriate to take a moment to acknowledge the gift that God is always holding out to us: grace. In the Miracle Prayer Ministry for July, our prayer thought is workbook lesson 168, “Your grace is given me. I claim it now.” This thought can help to lift us to the truth. As the lesson says, “If you but knew the meaning of His Love, hope and despair would be impossible. For hope would be forever satisfied; despair of any kind unthinkable. His grace His answer is to all despair, for in it lies remembrance of His Love.”

So many times in our lives, our pain and suffering seem too much to bear. We feel as if we have traveled too far down the path of hopelessness and destruction for our lives to be redeemed, yet A Course in Miracles reminds us that God’s grace can allow us to accept His Help back into our lives, even when we feel so undeserving.

“Our faith lies in the Giver, not our own acceptance. We acknowledge our mistakes, but He to Whom all error is unknown is yet the One Who answers our mistakes by giving us the means to lay them down, and rise to Him in gratitude and love.”

God recognizes only our truth, not the mistakes we think make us who we are. He knows our value, and through His grace we can know that value, too. And so,

“Today we ask of God the gift He has most carefully preserved within our hearts, waiting to be acknowledged. This the gift by which God leans to us and lifts us up, taking salvation’s final step Himself. All steps but this we learn, instructed by His Voice. But finally He comes Himself, and takes us in His Arms and sweeps away the cobwebs of our sleep. His gift of grace is more than just an answer. It restores all memories the sleeping mind forgot; all certainty of what Love’s meaning is.”

We do have our work to do, but as we have read, the instructions are given us by the Voice for God Whose only goal for us is healing. When we choose not to listen, His Voice is still there. When we choose to listen to another voice, His Voice is still there. And, when we choose to hide in our uncertainty, His Voice is still there. “God loves His Son.” And this awareness in our minds is the gift that grace would give us if we accept it.

This lesson offers us a way to this acceptance,

“Request Him now to give the means by which this world will disappear, and vision first will come, with knowledge but an instant later. For in grace you see a light that covers all the world in love, and watch fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and claim the light as theirs.”

The key seems to be our willingness. Our willingness allows healing to triumph, resulting in a new and expanded vision brought about by His grace. For it is grace that allows us to see God’s purpose, to hear God’s direction, and to experience God’s love in the challenges of our lives, the tragedies of the world, and when hope seems impossible.

Let us not be afraid or feel undeserving to call upon this gift that God is holding out to us. Nor let us judge God’s gift by worldly standards, which would doubt its ability to help in the face of all our challenges. By its very nature, grace can surmount any challenge, for it is a gift from the Infinite that leads beyond the world entirely. Grace can light the darkest areas of our world with love and possibility.

At the funeral service for Princess Diana that took place twenty-five years ago, Elton John sang different words to his classic song, Candle in the Wind. The lyrics began…

“Goodbye England’s rose; may you ever grow in our hearts.
You were the grace that placed itself where lives were torn apart.
You called out to our country, and you whispered to those in pain.
Now you belong to heaven, and the stars spell out your name.”

We have all heard the stories of Princess Diana’s painful life, yet through it she found something within her heart that helped her to go on, grow stronger, and be of help to a country and world that truly needed inspiration. She found grace.

What seemingly insurmountable problem are you facing? God’s grace is waiting to release you and the world.
Let us accept this gift from God as we pray:

“Your grace is given me. I claim it now. Father, I come to You. And You will come to me who ask. I am the Son You love.”

Above quotations from Lesson 168 in the Workbook for Students of A Course in Miracles.

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