Not too long ago, my wife and I drove to a place to which we had never been. A sense of uneasiness crept in as unanticipated traffic slowly drained the surplus time before our scheduled appointment. The stress increased when our GPS unashamedly proclaimed, “you have arrived” when we clearly had not. Trying to maximize our remaining minutes, we called the business phone number and explained our dilemma. With warm graciousness, the receptionist reassured us that we were not the first ones who had blindly followed a GPS beyond their location. Following her instructions, we soon arrived at the correct destination.
We quickly got out of the car and headed across the parking lot. However, our pace slowed as we unsuccessfully scanned the building looking for the entrance. Approaching a sidewalk, we finally spotted a glass door that was partially hidden behind shrubbery. As we stepped up to the threshold, we noticed a small sign that read, “Please use main entrance.” That was it. No arrow. No hand with a pointing finger. No cheesy clip-art. Nothing. Nada. (Rien... if you prefer French). Humored by this comedy of errors, we mentally flipped a coin and followed the bidirectional sidewalk to the left. Rounding the corner, we located what we decided was the "main entrance."
After our appointment, we drove away pondering the fact that while we had an excellent experience inside the building, the entry point to that encounter was difficult to locate. Yes, it was always there, but it just took a little time to identify it.
I am finding that, sometimes, the same is true with people. There is an entry point of grace in each person's life, and often, it just takes a little time to discover it.
Author Graham Cooke defines grace as “the empowering presence of God that enables a person to become what God sees when He looks at them.” When grace enters, individuals sense that they are seen, recognized,valued, loved, and uniquely cared for by El Roi, the One who sees them (Genesis 16:13).
So my breath prayer as I meet new people is “Holy Spirit, what is the entry point of grace in this person’s life?” The joy in the journey has been listening for God’s answer. In my current employment, the answer often comes in a divine prompt to offer an authentic, warm smile to an anxious parent. Sometimes it has been to supply super-soft facial tissues to a crying mom and to provide a pillow to a dad facing a multi-hour wait. Entry points of grace have been discovered in giving a calm, clear, reassuring word of instruction and in covering a chilly senior with a blanket.
While none of these actions appear complex or heroic, without question, they are powerful opportunities – entry points – for grace to enter in to a person’s life. The resultant peace, comfort, rest, and assurance as God reveals Himself is both profound and beautiful.
As you interact with people at your job, at your school, at the store, and even in your home, perhaps God is calling out to you today, “Hey, can you hold the door for Me?” Watch and see as Grace enters through the doorway of your simple, non-contrived, Holy Spirit prompted acts of service. "Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21 NRSV).
[Looking for more devotionals like this? Check-out 31 Days of Encouragement, available for purchase on-line. Sharing a devotional at the beginning of a rehearsal or a staff meeting is a great way to help people center their hearts and minds on eternal things!]