Read: Genesis 3:1-8; Romans 5:6-11
I love little earthly vignettes that so vividly give us glimpses of heavenly profound truths. This week, I heard one such story that I would like to share: In Lakeland, Florida, there was a softball game being played between the Southeastern University Fire and the Grand View University Vikings. SEU was in the lead when Grand View's catcher Kaitlyn Moses smashed a grand slam. As Moses was rounding the bases, she collapsed in pain between first and second. Later it was learned that she had snapped her Achilles. No wonder she was unable to get up and touch the bases so her home run would count.
Then a beautiful thing happened. Leah Gonzalez and Chapel Cunningham, players from the opposing team, picked up Moses and carried her around the bases. They stopped for Kaitlyn to tap her foot on each one. Only players from the opposing team could have done this for her, according to NAIA rules. None of her teammates were eligible to help her without negating the home run. When asked about this act of kindness, SEU player Leah Gonzalez said that they have been taught that they should do what ought to be done. No wonder this has gone viral. There is something beautiful and precious about kindness that is given with nothing expected in return. No wonder so many people enjoyed viewing this selfless act. Isn't this a snapshot of grace? It is favor lavished on someone who has not earned it. Kaitlyn Moses wasn't able to do anything to aid her helpers; so, instead, she expressed her heart felt gratitude.
As I type this, I am marveling at a thought. Since this gracious act by two softball players has been so lauded, and I am glad that is true, why is what Jesus did not often viewed with awe? Why is the One Who offers to pick us up out of the kingdom of darkness and transfer us into His kingdom of light not lauded and loved? Let's look back at Kaitlyn Moses. There she was in pain. She was unable to continue running the bases. She truly needed helpers, and they stepped up. Doing for her what she couldn't do.
The Bible is filled from Genesis to Revelation with incidents like this. Pictures of people who are in need. People who need the loving kindness that only God can give them. People who like Kaitlyn, can only offer a heartfelt thank You to Him for what He has done for them. Let's look at how such brokenness entered into our world and see how God responded.
It didn't take long for human beings to become trapped and helpless. We don't know how long Adam and Eve enjoyed the lavish and luxurious garden God had given them. We don't know how long they talked with Creator God in the coolness of the evenings, but Genesis 3:1-8 reveals the terrible day when perfection turned into brokenness and on-going difficulty. This was when pain became part of our lives. How could darkness encroach so quickly? Adam and Eve were left hiding and without remedy. Oh, how they needed a Helper. Someone Who loved them in spite of their disobedience. The only One Who could and would hold out loving kindness to them. Praise God. He didn't leave them hiding in shame with no Hope. Instead, God held out the promise of grace that He alone would provide, Genesis 3:15. He spoke of the One Who would crush the Evil One and destroy his works, 1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14. As His plan unfolded, we would learn that God would provide Jesus, the mediator between human beings and Almighty God, 1 Timothy 2:5. This unmerited help could only be provided by the God Man, John 1:14. He is the only answer for the need that every human being has. How deserving of praise and honor He truly is, 1 Timothy 1:17.
Since this is all true, why is it that loved ones don't often get excited when we speak to them about Jesus' wondrous kindness? Why does a sweet earthly kindness go viral while the truth of John 3:16 is frequently ignored? We find an answer to this question in 2 Corinthians 4:1-6;1 Corinthians 2:14.
The same enemy whose lies deceived Eve continues to be at work even now.
He has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Yet, the same One Who created light and all that has been created, Hebrews 11:3, is still opening spiritually blind eyes today. When this happens, God's grace becomes sweet and real. People understand both their own helplessness and God's wondrous provision which He holds out to them, Romans 5:6-11. People go from those who are indifferent or hostile toward the Lord to those who can see their need of a Savior and Jesus' love for them, Acts 9:1-6. I wonder if God will give us opportunities to use earthly stories of grace as a springboard to speak of the sweetest offer of grace that has ever been extended, 2 Corinthians 8:9. Maybe we like these human stories of grace so much because God has given us a deep-down yearning for the unfathomable grace that He alone can offer.
Lord, All we can say is thank You for Your limitless grace that You have lavished on us.