WIMD Pulse - May 2014
The Hallmark of Grace
by Dorothy M. Barbo, MD
Grace is Not a Blue-Eyed Blonde1 is the title of an old book. It talks about Christian grace in our daily living. Grace is not paramount in our society these days...nor is it often talked about in the church.
What is grace? My dictionary has 21 different definitions or descriptions of grace. The grace I wish to have daily is theological grace: "a pleasing or attractive quality of the spirit of God manifested in my daily actions with people.”
Beginning the morning with God sets the tone for my day. I learned I need to ask for grace for every encounter. As the day wears on, I need more grace to deal with the many demands: a full schedule, phone calls, running behind, impatient people, unexpected emergencies, calls for help. Requests and demands never seem to end.
I want my hallmark to be grace...my standard or quality. As a Christian physician, I want this mark of genuineness to be my distinguishing characteristic. Does it come clearly and easily? No, I still am working to attain grace daily with the help of the Lord.
During my years of working overseas, there was never an end to the need, the problems, the emergencies, the heat, the hours of work. Exhausted at the end of every day, I found I needed more grace to deal with co-workers, patients and people. A Scripture which I read helped sustain me, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV 1984).
Hymns have strengthened me in many difficult times. The following hymn, written by Anne Johnson Flint, is one of my favorites.
HE GIVETH MORE GRACE2
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure;
His power has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!
1Grace is Not a Blue-Eyed Blond, Author R. Lofton Hudson, Word Publisher, 1972
2He Giveth More Grace by Anne Johnson Flint, Copyright 1941 Renewed 1969 by Lilllenas Publishing Co. Hymns for The Family of God, Paragon Associates, Inc. Nashville, Tenn. Copyright 1976