In my final year as an Undergraduate Student at the University of Benin, a senior friend organized an Arts conference with the theme- Grace tells a different story. I was scheduled to speak at the conference and I remember racking my brain from days on what angle to tell my story from.
Yesterday, almost 4 years later I found myself pondering on the theme and without warning my mind was soon flooded with the experiences of Bible Men and Women… people with seemingly irredeemable pasts and unpardonable sins, people with worse than hell experiences, and suicidal hearts, people I would (as a self-righteous judge) condemn to eternal damnation if I were the one wielding the big stick. These people, had ends directly in contrast with their beginnings. And if there was one theme in operation in all of these stories, it would be Grace.
Enter Abraham: Idol-worshipper and Very Barren
Enter Grace: Abraham: Father of Faith, Father of many Nations.
Enter Leah: Unloved by Husband, Weak eye-sight
Enter Grace: Leah: Fruitful, Proud Mother of 10 Sons
Enter Joseph: Hated, Slavery, Wrong Accusation, Prison
Enter Grace: Joseph: Savior, Dramatic Elevation, Prime Minister
Enter Moses: Lost Identity, Outcast, Stutterer, Shepherd
Enter Grace: Moses: Deliverer and Ruler
Enter Esther: Orphan, Born in Slavery
Enter Grace: Esther: Queen of 127 Provinces, Deliverer
Enter Gideon: Poor (Even the poor called him poor), Intimidated
Enter Grace: Gideon: Mighty Man of Valor, Rescuer
Enter Rahab: Prostitute, Committer of Treason
Enter Grace: Rahab: Annihilation Survivor, Great-Great-Very-Great-Grand mother of Jesus
Enter Jephthah: Prostitute’s Son, Outcast
Enter Grace: Jephthah: Mighty Warrior, Leader, Rescuer
Enter David: Shepherd Boy, Guitar- Guy, Adulterer, Murderer
Enter Grace: David : Mighty Warrior, One of the Greatest Music Composer and Poet of all time, Jesus’ Great- Great- Great- Ever-So-Great Grand Father
Enter The Disciples: Hopeless Fisher Men, Greedy Tax Collectors
Enter Grace: The Disciples: Fishers of Men, Disciplers
Enter Woman at the Well: Sex-hawker, Artful Divorcee
Enter Grace: Woman at the Well: Saved, Healed, Evangelist
Enter Woman with the Issue of Blood: Well, Issue of Blood, Despised, Discouraged
Enter Grace: Woman with the Issue of Blood: Healed, Restored and Made Whole.
Enter Saul: Murderer, Persecutor of Christians, All-round pain in the neck
Enter Grace: Saul: Paul, Defender of the Faith, Radical Evangelist, Encourager, Custodian and revealer of deep kingdom mysteries, Inspirational Writer.
I think the story that really really gets to me is that of David. It doesn’t just make sense! He took someone’s wife and murdered the husband. And God still called him, ‘A Man after his heart’ and allowed him into the lineage of Jesus? GRACE!!!
This comforts me, and it should you too. It doesn’t matter how disadvantaged your past or present may be, Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter if you feel inadequate or unworthy to be trusted with Greatness. Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been looked down upon and termed to be a go-nowhere. Ask Jephthah, Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve flunked and gone astray and committed all of the atrocities. Ask David and Paul, they’d tell you what I’m telling you, Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve wasted a huge part of your life building bricks for Pharaoh and have lost your physical strength. Look to Father Abraham, Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been abused and used. The experience of Joseph tells me the truth, Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed. The woman at the well would tell you the truth, Grace tells a different story.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been or are currently plagued with insufficiency. Let Esther’s story give you hope. Grace tells a different story.
When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.Trust me, this is more than the rhymes.
Grace tells a different story.