Summary: If we would "taste" God’s Grace, we would have nothing to boast, but have eveything to praise Him!
Some years ago, when I was alone in the house, I suffered a severe case of bronchial asthma. I could not breathe! I could not inhale any amount of air!
Have you wrestled with such trauma – to be deprived of air, or unable to breathe? Have you reached the point in your life that nothing was more important to you, but air you could not breathe?
Maybe, I just struggled for a few seconds, but I felt it was much longer that I was gasping for air.
It was good, then, my heart was in a better condition and I did not suffer heart attack. But during that time I struggled to take in air, I could not also think of anything! Oxygen could no longer reach my brain. I could not desire, or think of any short prayer. For I could not even think of God!
Later, after the incident, I was even filled with guilt that at that time I desired air and be in this world more than the Creator of air and be in His Kingdom!
Anyway, it was really painful – to find your life at a point of great need and God was not even in your consciousness. Actually, it was a very fearful thing!
Before the incident, I suffered intermittent coughing for almost a month and I would just drink lukewarm water to ease my painful throat.
Instinctively, that’s also what I did. So thankful, I felt again the air was filling my lungs. It seemed I could taste it. Believe it or not, it was sweet!
But what was really “sweet,” as I breathed again, I grasped more the meaning of the Grace of God. As if, it was emphasized to me that He could give us physical life, an extension of it, or even eternal life – not because of our own doing (in thought or in action). I could not even exercise my freedom of choice to choose what would be the best option to restore my breath. Because of the absence of oxygen, my brain or my mind could not function properly and my body could just wrestle with pain.
My physical life or even the extension of it did not depend on my own choice or effort that proceeded from my own will, but on God’s Sovereign Will.
In spite of my inability – both physical effort and conscious effort – to save myself, my life was extended! Surely, I was able to breathe again not because of my physical strength, nor because of the so-called power of the human will, but because of God’s Grace. He enabled me to receive or to take in air once again.
We could also see how His Grace is illustrated in Luke 10:30-37:
“Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (NKJV).
Notice the condition of the victim of the thieves. He was “half dead.” He didn’t have the strength to bandage his wounds, or to take care of himself. He didn’t even have the consciousness to ask someone to help him! He was not even aware of his helpless condition. And if he was a Jew, who had no dealing with the Samaritan, he could not even exercise his freedom of choice to resist the assistance rendered to him by the Samaritan.
Now consider how the Samaritan showed his mercy. He did not even wait for the victim to ask for aid. Nor he asked the victim if he would want to be assisted. When he saw the victim, he had compassion, and he just cared for him.
So, the victim got himself into the inn and continued to receive further treatment – not because of his own choice, or effort. It’s because of grace.