The first thing that always used to come to my mind when I heard the phrase “grace period” was “library books.” For some reason, I never knew how to return books on time. And it was so crazy how the library would fine you so much for being late on a book that, quite possibly, nobody else was interested in reading at the time. But I was always so thankful for the grace period.
It’s such an interesting concept. A deadline is set for us to accomplish something. And if we don’t accomplish what we are supposed to, then we are going to have to face the consequences/punishment. BUT, if a grace period is intact, then there is added time for us, even after the deadline has past for us to still come through on what we are supposed to.
I’ve taken advantage of grace periods my whole life. Even now, the big thing is rent. Rent is due on the first of every month, but they have like a 5 day grace period. All I have to do is write a check, and drop it off, and everything is fine. No envelopes to lick, no 39 cent stamps to find (I can’t believe they raised the price of stamps 2 more cents), no real strenuous situation, really. Yet, I don’t look at the first of the month as my deadline any more. To me, rent is officially due on the 5th. (Or whenever my roommates write their checks).
When I really think about it, this life is just one big grace period. From the very beginning, Adam and Eve were living in paradise with God. Then they sinned, and they should have faced death. And the death they faced should have been immediate. And that’s basically how it is for each and every person. Because of our sin, we should face immediate death and go to hell.
But God has given us a grace period…which is the life we are living now. God is basically seeing, “You have sinned, which is against the rules. You were supposed to be perfect, but now you can’t be. But I am giving you an option to accept Christ, who died on the cross for your sins, as your Lord and Savior, and believe that He is the one true God. If you do that, you’ll be able to have everlasting life with me. But if you don’t, then eternal death is emminent.” And then we ask, “OK God, when is the deadline?” And He looks at us and says, “The deadline? Oh, that deadline has already past. You are WAY past due. But don’t worry, I’ve given you a grace period. I’m not going to tell you how long you have though…it’s different for everyone. Look around you, some people live until their 96 years old, other people have freak accidents at age 19. I’m not going to tell you when your grace period ends, but just remember that you do have it.”
What if that’s how it was for my rent? If I didn’t know that it was about a 5 day grace period, I’d be freaking out. Like, what if one friend of mine gets evicted after 24 hours for not paying, while another person has gone 3 weeks without paying, and hasn’t faced anything yet. And everyone I know is scattered between a few moments after midnight to years down the line. If that’s the case, would I take the chance and wait another day? Please, I might be slow but I’m not fool. My living situation is too important for me to take for granted. I’m going to make sure I get it in ASAP so I don’t have to worry about possibly missing the deadline.
Yet, I feel like it’s so different when it comes to our faith. We feel like we have all the time in the world to decide. We have this mentality of “I’m really busy now, but when I get older I’m going to put more of an effort into spirituality and finding God.” I feel like I’ve known more people to pass away over my college career than in the 18 years prior to it. My grandfather passed away my freshman year when he was 92 years old. There were numerous college kids between the ages of 18-22 that lost their lives recently. My godmother came close, but survived after having open heart surgery. Even I got ‘mugged’ my junior year with a decent possibility that I might not have seen another day (in my mind, at least), but by the grace of God I’m still moving around here. But even though we see all this, and experience all of it, we still feel like we’ve got plenty of time…like we’ve got one more day.
More and more I’m realizing that my days are numbered. I was never promised tomorrow, I don’t even deserve today. So I’m going to do everything I can with every moment that I have to live for God and serve Him only. I’m so thankful that I’ve been given this grace period. And I’m even more thankful that I’ve accepted Christ so that regardless of when my grace period ends, I have assurance that I will be celebrating eternal life only because of the grace of God and the blood of Christ. Simply amazing…agape love. I’m so thankful for grace. PERIOD.