Have you ever thought that you are not good enough for God's grace?
A person I will call Bob told me that he has done so many bad things that if he walked into a church, lightning would strike, and then all the bricks in the church would fall down. Bob really did not know about God's grace.
In Acts 3:5-7 (NIV), one of Christ's disciples, Peter, was sent out to spread God's word and heal the sick. He came upon a crippled beggar who asked Peter for money. But the beggar asked for something little compared to what he really needed.
Peter says in the Bible passage, "silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walk. Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong." The crippled beggar was given something much bigger then he could ever imagine.
I believe God has done this for me in my life, but in a different way.
I had always wanted to go to college, but never knew how to go about it. I remember praying one night, asking God to figure out only one class. He answered my prayer, however, not in the way I imagined at all.
At the time, the job that I had did not work out, one where I had been working since I was a teenager. It was a shock and I felt really lost. Being a single mom -- with no job in sight -- I, like Bob, did not believe I was good enough for God's grace, but my church family and friends taught me otherwise. They pushed me to keep the faith and to keep on going.
God brought amazing people to me who helped me enroll in school to get my skills up to date. Still, I did not realize that I could become a full-time student. But God's blessings came through grants, scholarships and new friends. I graduated with my Associate in Arts and Sciences degree in business administration and innovations. I still don't know how it all happened, but God knows.
Now, I have a good job working for some awesome Christian people, and I am going back to school this fall for my bachelor's degree in applied management. I never would have known that God would give me something so BIG when I asked for so little.
After graduation, I was overwhelmed with happiness and I just had to thank everyone at church. As I spoke, tears rolled down my cheeks. I remember saying something that I knew God wanted me to say: "If you think you are not good enough for God's grace, then think again."
Now, I am saying it to all of you: When you are praying to God, ask BIG. And may God's grace be abundant to all of you.
-- Janie Jonker is a lay speaker at Riverview United Methodist Church in Pasco. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.