For a while I have been signing my e-mails, BOUND BY GRACE, TOMI JARRELL. I recently had a friend ask me to tell her why I signed them that way and what ‘bound by grace” really meant to me – here is my answer to her question.
Bound by grace – When I came to Christ at 21 I did not know “religious” ways. I just loved Jesus – I thought everyone came to Him with NASTY JUNK! But, I quickly learned that the things I had been through I could not share with the “church” – it was too much. So, I learned to play a religious game. Until I met Darrell, he was the one person that listened to my stories, shared my pain and loved me anyway. I soon saw that he was the true representation of Christ, not the “friends” I had made in the church. So, once again I was able to trust in the grace of God and not my works to keep me in His love.
Years went by and grace became so much more than a word, it became how I looked at life. I knew that if I wanted to see my kids walking with the Lord it was going to be by His grace. I knew that loving my mom was going to come by His grace, I knew that serving and submitting to my husband was going to be by His grace. Grace is the enabling power of God for me to walk out life for His glory. Not my strength or my abilities but His grace working through me.
I think my newest revelation of grace has been in watching the trials of others and knowing that it is His grace that will release in them the freedom to live life to the fullest no matter the circumstances. When Darrell & I stepped out in faith to begin the business and then found ourselves facing a financial crisis people around us made comments like, “what did you do wrong?” or “so, what can you do to fix this” or even “God must be mad at you.” Those words were like arrows piercing our armor and we began to question what we did or didn’t do as being right or wrong. Soon, God began to show me that I could not fix the problems any more than Darrell could, so my “going back to work” or “taking matters in my own hands” was not the solution. The solution – GRACE – we needed more grace, grace to know that He was sufficient for us, Grace to recognize that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME! No ifs, ands or buts, HE IS GOOD! I needed grace to recognize that HE was going to be our salvation in every way, spiritually, physically and financially. So, now when I see a family struggling, I don’t ask – what did you do wrong, but How can I speak grace into their lives whether by word or deed because God is speaking grace into their lives, they just may not recognize it yet. GRACE – the enabling power of God to walk out the hard places of life to His glory and my good.
I am bound, tied to, reliant on and restrained by His grace. It will never let me go, and I will always require His grace to be my source of strength and the glasses I wear to look at life through. I have even learned to see the church though the lenses of grace, not everyone was like those I met when I was first saved, and those I met needed as much grace as I did, I just did not know it at the time. Grace is not just a word, but a way of life. And I am bound by His grace!