I Tasted Grace One Easter
“Please Mom,” I begged. “It’s so nice and shiny, it will match my shoes.”
“No.” she said. And her metal mind slammed shut.
I went to sleep with resentment that night. To her, it was just a purse, but to my 12-year-old heart, it was everything. I didn’t like her very much that night.
Easter morning, my siblings and I thundered down the steps. There we saw our baskets lined up on the buffet, like always. Not plastic ones, but real baskets which had been stored in the attic because the green grass would get all over everything. My basket was the second of five. Each one had a chocolate bunny on top. Hopefully, a solid bunny, more chocolate. We’d also find yellow peeps, jellybeans, large colored candy eggs only mom liked, maybe a yo-yo, a bottle of bubbles, and a high-fly. The paddle that would hit a small red rubber ball and then for months later, it would be used for our bottoms.
And then I saw it—the purse I had begged for, the black patent leather purse with the gold chain that could be outside the purse or tucked inside. It was there in my basket. It was the day I tasted grace. The day I’d never forget.
I wonder if we act toward God the way I acted in my heart towards my mom? We demand things, calling them requests and when God doesn’t comply, we pout as we notice every person in the world who has what we want. Our resentment turns to bitterness and we store it away.
When Adam and Eve were in the garden, God told them they could eat from every tree but one. I’m sure there were many to choose from. Genesis 2:16-17. But they wanted the thing they were denied. Along came Satan. He lied, “God doesn’t care about you.”
I first heard the story of Jesus at Awana Clubs. My leaders talked about Jesus as if he was their best friend.
In my 20’s, when I was invited to a home Bible study, I met a woman with long dangling earrings who also talked about Jesus. She shared how Jesus died on the cross. A story I had heard before, but not like she told it.
“When Jesus died on the cross it was for our sins,” Lois said.
She had no trouble saying we were all sinners. She obviously didn’t know me well, a “goody-goody,” who was afraid to do or say the wrong thing. Never mind what was going on inside of me, no one saw that part. This 30-something woman said, “God loved us so much, he sent Jesus to die for our sins.” I couldn’t forget that line. Maybe because I knew I wasn’t perfect. She told us Jesus was the only one who was perfect because he never sinned.
She said when the Bible talked about blood being the only thing that forgave sin, it was talking Jesus’ blood. Hebrews 9:22. I hung onto my stubborn thoughts. She didn’t know I faithfully attended church and how I tried my best to be good. What about that? She told us even our good works were not good enough, because we were sinners. Titus 3:5. She said, “Let’s say you had a contagious disease and you made a batch of cookies. They might look okay, but they would be tainted because of your disease.” I shifted in my chair. If I couldn’t trust in being good enough, I was in trouble.
Lois shared that God was Holy and righteous and if we wanted to go to heaven we needed to be righteous. And then she told us how. Romans 4:5.
Being saved is a gift, something we don’t work for. Something we didn’t deserve that God gave us anyway. Ephesians 2:8-9. She was talking about grace. I sopped up all that truth I heard. I realized I was a sinner who needed Jesus and I believed what she said from the Bible, that only perfect blood could take care of my sins.
Looking back, I saw all the seeds God had planted in my life. The stories in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Awana clubs and now this Bible study with Lois.
I could finally say the word that made me cringe the first time I heard it—saved. Jesus came to save me from my sins. 1John 5:11-13. Before, I trusted in my life, hoping I would go to heaven. But I needed the Son. And now? Now I had the Son.
After that, I wanted to know more about Jesus. I had to know more.
I love Easter. It’s about how Jesus not only gave his life for us, but that he did what no man ever did. He rose from the dead.
He’s not dead, but just like this song from Hello Industry says, He’s alive!
If you aren’t sure you’re going to heaven you need to check out what the Bible says. And I just want you to know when Jesus died on that cross. It was for you. And that’s the truth.
About Anne Peterson
I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I'm not writing, I'm telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.