Recently I attended a worship night and halfway through the team slowed things way down and began to sing a very simple rendition of Amazing Grace that was incredibly powerful.
As we sang the song, I began to think through the fact that I have been saved for 21 years, and in some ways have forgotten that I am a broken man who was ransomed by God and changed only because of his grace.
I have had the privilege of education; many wise and powerful mentors; loving and supportive friends and family; and a healthy sense of destiny and purpose thanks to my grandmother who told me over and over that I was special.
But, somewhere along the way I bought into the idea that my life and blessings have come about because of my strong will, perseverance, hard work, and desire. Though all of these elements have added to who I am, when I am honest with myself, each element I have looked to as a reason for my success have their roots in the grace God extended to me throughout the course of my childhood and teen years.
I am a product of all the wonderful people God has placed in my life, of the opportunities he has afforded me, of the circumstances he delivered me from, and of the protection he gave me to not destroy myself along the way. Since I have had the misfortune of losing sight of who I once was, I have lost sight of who others are and who they can be with the help of God. I have learned to dismiss people and write others off because of their shortcomings, forgetting that it wasn’t that long ago I was a punk kid who picked fights, got into trouble, and disrespected those closest to me.
When God found me at the age of 13 I was a mess of a boy and was on my way to being a disaster of a man. Jesus found me away from my calling and purpose for my life. He brought me back and saved me in a remarkable way! Now, I have the privilege of teaching some of the most gifted college students I have ever seen. Who would have ever expected that?
My life so far is not one that books and movies will be written about. Nor will it be one that many people will probably remember. Somewhere in the future my life will end with little more than a thought and a short obituary in the paper. But, I pray along the way it is a testament to you: a testament of Jesus’ love for me, forgiveness for all of us, and patience in our ignorance and stubbornness.
Amazing grace, how sweet is the sound that redeemed and forgave a wretch like me. I was so lost, but somehow He found me and helped this blind sinner see. Though I have passed through many dangers, toils, and snares, grace has brought me safely through, and unto Jesus’ side grace will lead me home. I pray my life has been an influence to yours…not because of an illusion of greatness in me, but because of the Amazing Grace that shines through me. What has grace done for you?