Have you ever stood watching waves crashing in on an ocean shore? Many times, I’ve walked along the Atlantic coast of Cornwall. On even the most windless day, the great swell keeps rolling in. It never stops. The cliffs there are granite – immensely hard. And yet the power of the waves has carved and broken them into myriad outcrops and reefs. Some people believe that every seventh wave is bigger than the previous six. I don’t know if that’s true. But I just love it as, one by one, they rise up and break thunderously on the rocks below.
And isn’t it wonderful to stand at the end of a sandy beach as roller follows roller, foaming white against golden sand and deep blue sea. It’s tamer there, perhaps, and surfers are enjoying exhilarating runs as they ride the waves.
Where does it come from, this endless swell? From storms hundreds of miles away? From some great turmoil of the deep? Whatever it is, it has some power!
Whenever I read what John says about the grace that comes from Jesus, I think of the waves along the Cornish coast. His grace comes from His power. And it comes like waves, ‘grace upon grace’. You may not see the power, as on a windless day at the seaside, but you still experience the grace flowing into your life, bringing the exhilaration, and all the joyous abandon of the surfer. Or maybe just the gentle peace of lying on the beach. At other times it may come, as on a stormy day, with power to break down obstacles and strongholds, and to reshape lives.
Where does it come from, this endless grace? It comes from the ‘fullness’ of Jesus. The fullness of the eternal Son of God, the Creator and the Ruler of the universe. Compared to that, some storm far out in the ocean or battering the clifftops is nothing!
His grace is like the waves but there’s one great difference. The waves are inanimate – they feel nothing; His grace is full of love. It brings with it what Geoffrey Bullock, in a well-known worship song, calls, ‘the power of His love’.
As I look at the waves, they may be beautiful, they may be awesome, they may be full of power or they may be there just to be enjoyed. And what I’ll receive today from Jesus’ fullness can be all of that and so much more besides.
Prayer: Father, I’m amazed at Your unending grace and love that constantly touches my life. Thank You that Your grace brings joy and contentment. Thank You that it also has power to bring change, restoration and healing. Father, today I open my heart to the grace of Jesus and ask that You would make me willing to allow You to fulfil all Your gracious purposes in my life today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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