By Elizabeth Prata
My favorite doctrine is Grace, followed by Providence.
Grace that is extended by our loving God is shocking and amazing and wonderful. I was saved later in life and I remember what it felt like to live a sinful life in rebellion against God. It was confusing and upsetting, most of the time.
I read a lot, and enjoyed historical books and the world’s myths. As I read books, all the world’s made-up gods were capricious or unloving or dismissive of humans. That seemed right to me. Even when I read of the Founding Fathers and learned about their deism, that god also seemed right to me. The deist god created everything – including humans – but then retreated from humankind’s affairs and let us wind down of our own accord.
Grace given by a loving God was foreign to me and unthinkable. Because that would mean He was involved with humans, lovingly. Weird.
But that and only that God is the one true God.
He came in the form of a baby who grew to be a man-God, teaching and loving and performing miracles. He died for our sins and absorbed the wrath of God on our behalf.
Of course my favorite hymn is Amazing Grace.
Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound
It was not a sweet sound to me then, but it is now.
That saved a wretch like me
I used to close my mouth if I happened to be at a Church service, like at Christmas, and this hymn came on. I wasn’t a wretch!, I’d utter. And close my mouth, refusing to say the lyrics.
I once was lost, but now am found
I didn’t know I was lost, but my spirit did. I was into bookbinding back then and my spirit was expressing motifs readily familiar to the saved person. This is the frontspiece and end piece to a softcover book I made. It seemed right that the lost person depicted was in black and white, unhappy, and the found person was transformed into something beautiful. I pasted them in, not knowing why.
Was blind but now I see
I didn’t know I was blind. Revelation 3:17 applies here:
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Thank you Lord, for your grace!! How wonderful that even when we’ve been there 10,000 years, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun. An eternity praising You is not enough, but what grace that I am able to do so in the first place.
Was blind but now I see…
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)