When I was a little girl, rarely a day went by that I did not go next door to visit my grandparents.  One day I would help them pick up pecans under the tallest tree in their yard, a tree that towered over me like an enormous giant with an infinite number of sprawling arms.  Sometimes, I would wheel my little red wagon down to their house, either full of baby dolls or carrying my cat Morris or my pet rabbit Speckles.  Another day, we would be inside, making Grandma Ethel’s famous chocolate pound cake (which I still make in her memory to this very day) or Papa Joe’s mouthwatering homemade ice cream.  I always loved this activity because they always let me lick the paddle when the ice cream was ready to eat!

But it wasn’t these fond childhood memories that make the top of the list.  And it wasn’t the cherished moments I spent with my Grandma, listening intently as she taught me to play the autoharp.  It wasn’t even the trips to town in Papa Joe’s blue and white Ford pick-up truck, where we would ride with the windows rolled down, singing at the top of our lungs, “In the Good ‘Ole Summertime.”  What makes the visits to Papa and Grandma’s house special in my storehouse of memories are the many ways they showed their love for me and love for God.

One thing I distinctly remember is the way they always made sure we said grace whenever I was sharing a meal with them.  We would hold hands, bow our heads in reverence to the Almighty, and then pray together.  They, along with my parents, taught me at a young age the importance of being sincerely grateful for my food and asking God to bless it.  While I now say a prayer in my own words, I will always remember those timeless words that my Grandma, Papa, and I would say in unison:

God is great, God is good.
Let us thank Him for this food.
By His hands, we are fed.
Give us Lord our daily bread.
Such a simple prayer, yet it is one that embodies such a complex meaning.  As a child, I knew we were to be thankful.  I knew we were to say grace.  I knew we should pray.  But only as an adult have I discovered that grace is much more than a prayer recited at mealtime.
Grace is one of the most precious gifts ever given to us by God.  Through grace, a lost soul can be found.  Through grace, a broken heart can be mended.  Through grace, a shattered life can be restored.
For decades, congregations have gathered together in one accord to join their voices in song as they joyously sing the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.”  Just the melody of this song can produce goose bumps on your arms and cause a chill to run gently up and down your spine.  But it’s not because of the singer, the musician, or even the writer of this cherish tune.  It’s because of the priceless meaning that is held within the lyrics of this powerful and anointed song.  John Newton must have had a direct connection to the Heavenly choir of angels when he penned the following lyrics:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Grace.  It has been sung about, written about, and talked about for thousands of years.  But just as this beloved hymn states, we shall be showered with the goodness of God’s grace forevermore if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son.  God will not only bestow upon us His matchless grace, but He will also fill our hearts with peace if we come to Him with grateful hearts.  Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [emphasis added].”  You see, God wants us to be happy and to have no worries or cares.  Much like my grandparents and I always said grace, we should always be thankful for everything God.  If we give grace for what God does for us, the grace He gives in return will be greater than you or I could ever imagine!

In Christ’s Love,