Some people seem to do just fine with a ‘lil trickle of grace. They don’t seem to have a lot of needs. They appear to have their “ish” together, as they say.
I am not one of those people. I usually feel as though I’ve got needs coming out my ears. The trickle that seems to suffice for some people, in some seasons, does not suffice for me: I need a bucket. A fire hydrant. A water fall. I need a lot of grace.
My struggle with perfectionism tends to mean that I kind of resent needing the Niagara Falls of grace, instead of the just the little drip-drip-drop of the grace I imagine others need. Often, I’d rather have less needs. To be self-sufficient — isn’t that The Goal? Of our society? Of adults everywhere?
The idea of comparing amount-of-grace-needed is a bit bizarre in and of itself, but even if this idea is true — that I need tons more grace to get through this day or this season or this life — well then bring on the grace! I mean…it means I get a bucket full of GRACE!
Grace doesn’t operate on a principle of scarcity. It won’t run out if you don’t ration it. However much grace we need, that’s how much we get!
And, as a coach recently suggested*, what if we can only extend that which we’ve received? If we’ve received a trickle, we can extend a trickle to others. Well then, needing, and receiving, a bucket becomes a blessing. We’ve been forgiven much, so we love much. We’ve been comforted, we can comfort others. We were thirsty and starving, we can point others to the feast that awaits.
Despite what my false-self/perfectionistic/distorted functional beliefs tell me, the “good life” does NOT look like having my ish together, or at least looking like my ish is together enough to be respected and admired by others. The REAL “good life” looks like “drinking deeply from the well of salvation“(Isaiah 12:3). It looks like “lifting up the cup of salvation” (Psalm 116:13) — and, while you’re at it, offering one to a neighbor.
There’s enough for me. And if there’s enough for me? Trust me, there’s enough for you, too.
** I was able to have a coaching session with Lynne Jackson of connectedfamilies.org — this word picture of a trickle versus a bucket is a very helpful image she gave me in a powerfully encouraging coaching session! Head to her website for grace-filled parenting resources ❤