God's Grace Is Bigger

Elway, our older West Highland Terrier, has been very sick over the past couple of weeks, which has upset everyone in the family.  

He seems to be slowly on the mend, though, which is a comfort to us all---even as the veterinarian is still trying to figure out what caused the infection that made him so ill.  

A few days ago, I found a spot in the house where he had gone to be sick.  I know. This is not the greatest beginning of a Daily Devo, but I have a point.  

He must have gone to this secluded corner of my house in the middle of the night because he felt terrible.  The poor guy knew things were going south, so he went to hide because he knew he would upset everyone. 

I couldn't help but feel so sorry for him, thinking about the moment when he tried to keep from making a fuss, feeling bad, sorry, and probably full of shame.  

He's such a good dog.  He had no idea we wouldn't have been upset with him and would have comforted him if we had known. 

All of this got me thinking about how I feel shame when I know I'm not living the way God longs for me to live.  When I lose my sense of self, make a poor decision or a wrong choice, it's so easy to want to hide, to withdraw from God and others. 

So many of us live in this space more often than we would like to admit.  Maybe we've felt shame over things we've done or things that have been done to us.  Perhaps we feel like we can never be forgiven, or even further, we never really forgive ourselves. 

I recently read a beautiful quote that speaks directly to this very issue from author and inspirational speaker, Bob Goff: 

As [Jesus] forgave people who brought shame upon themselves, he always took the opportunity to say they were more than their mistakes and his grace was bigger than their lives. 

I can't tell you how much I love that line.   I wish I'd written it.  

So many of us walk around in life believing that not only are we not more than our mistakes but that our mistakes define who we are.  And we've been living so long with the shame we feel because of this that we don't know who we would be without it. 

I've come to understand that living in regret and shame over the past is one of the most debilitating things we can do as humans.  

This makes Goff's quote all the more lovely because when we think of how Jesus constantly lifted people who were feeling shame up and spoke life into them, we get a glimpse of what God longs to do for us. 

But far too often, we cling to our shame and regret instead of embracing God's grace, which is always available.  

For some of us, our shame and regret become old friends we can't do without, even though they drag us down and keep us from being the people we long to be.  We may even come to imagine that we deserve to live with them.  

But the love and grace of God are bigger than our mistakes, shame, and regret.  We are more than what we've done or what has been done to us. 

May you find the courage today and every day from this day to embrace the grace of God and let go of your shame and regret.  May you discover that you are more than your mistakes; you are chosen and cherished. 

May you find the freedom that comes from letting go of what was and taking hold of what could be.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


  1. I saw the news about snails making dogs really ill. Just a thought.


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