real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

the triumph of grace


December’s ice storms brought a lot of damage to my town and for a week I could hear tree limbs cracking and limbs crashing to the ground all around this old neighborhood where I live. The shrill buzz of chain saws followed as city workers and home owners cleared the streets every day for a couple weeks. Some roads were blocked off entirely as branches, beautiful but fragile under their burden, continued to drop. It was a dangerous situation and required the road crews to be alert to downed wires and even citizens trapped in their homes.

Now that spring is here, the chain saws are out again. The eminent danger of falling debris has long passed but people are looking more closely at their properties and deciding which trees could cause problems in the future.

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that, in order to be Christians who have a testimony before a watching world, we are to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” so we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Sometimes this means clearing the path of the obvious weighty matter that keeps us from following hard after Christ. Temptations, wrong opinions, attitudes, and patterns of wrong behavior, all are right in front of us along our spiritual paths. When we continually place our own lives up against the backdrop of Jesus’ teachings, we quickly see the stark contrast and we are convicted.

Other times, finding the less obvious sin requires taking the spiritual chain saw to those threatening things that weigh us down, those heart idols that make us fragile and in danger of destruction. I believe it is these more subtle temptations, these hidden issues of the heart, that can be the most dangerous because they often come disguised as insignificant or even as something good.

The last few weeks I have been repeatedly brought back to Jonah 2:8: “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Oh how often it applies to me! I want to believe that my good works count for something, that I am piling up righteousness points, adding badges to my own personal Good Christian vest. I want to compare myself to someone I think is not measuring up, either to God or even to me. Though I profess faith in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone, I find myself trying to hang the temple veil back up, struggling on the ladder of my own goodness, looking for that illusive earthly priest who will take my “humble” sacrifice. And the result is that I forfeit the grace God so willingly and lovingly wants to lavish upon my life.

Maundy Thursday is past, Good Friday is here and Easter is upon us. Let’s spend some time looking at Jesus alone, resting in His grace. Let’s clear out those things that threaten our path. And let’s strike down the personal idols, one at a time. Let’s embrace the triumph of grace.



  Carole wrote @

This is wonderful. Thank you.

  Kimberly wrote @


  Kathy wrote @

Thank you, Karen. This is something I needed to reflect on, on this Good Friday.

  Carol wrote @

May God bless you and your lovely family this Easter and always. Love you.

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