The Weight of Grace | Wycliffe Bible Translators

The Weight of Grace

  • March 16, 2020
  • By: Beth Matheson

I wanted to sleep but my body rebelled. For months every night, I’d lie next to my snoring husband with my arms and legs twitching me awake each time I started to doze. It was like my limbs decided they needed to keep going and accomplish more while the rest of me was calm.

Cutting caffeine, getting regular exercise and taking supplements helped, but I still struggled to sleep deeply — until I discovered the wonders of a weighted blanket. Filled with heavy plastic pellets, the blanket added enough pressure to still my restless muscles and I was finally able to get a full night’s rest.

My limbs aren’t the only parts of me that have experienced a compulsive need to move; my mind and spirit have also spent many hours spinning.

I know I shouldn’t worry, but I still entertain the what‑ifs.

I believe I’m forgiven, but my choices still haunt me.

I trust that God holds my future, but I’m still afraid to take the next necessary step forward.

My twitchy thoughts and emotions steal my rest and keep me exhausted. I’ve found things that help slow the mental swirl like listening to worship music or sermons, praying and reading Scripture, or talking with a wise friend or counselor. But sometimes I need something more basic to find peace and truly rest. I need the weight of grace.

God’s Indescribable Grace

Like a heavy, comforting weighted blanket, the truth of John 1:16 spreads itself over my heart: “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (ESV). What does it look like to receive grace upon grace? Paul presented a stunning picture of God’s layer-by-layer grace in Ephesians 1. It contains truths and takeaways that help us better understand this “weighted blanket” of grace.

Truth: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” (v. 3, NLT).

Takeaway: Because Christ has made us his own, we’ve been given blessings beyond anything we can imagine.

Truth: “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (v. 4).

Takeaway: Before God made anything, he already knew and loved us and had a plan to make us spotless through Jesus.

Truth: “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (v. 5).

Takeaway: God’s happy that he brought us into his family.

Truth: “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son” (v. 6).

Takeaway: This isn’t just a stingy trickle of grace; it’s a deluge.

Truth: “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (v. 7).

Takeaway: God’s grace, which secured our freedom and forgiveness, was profoundly costly to God and his Son.

Truth: “He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (v. 8).

Takeaway: God hasn’t just rescued us; he’s also transforming our minds.

Truth: “God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ — which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ — everything in heaven and on earth” (vv. 9‑10).

Takeaway: The end of the story is complete wholeness in Christ.

This grace in Ephesians 1 isn’t cheap. It’s not temporary or dependent on our performance. It’s real and solid, present and pressing. It’s priceless, and it says we’re priceless to God. And it’s sobering. When we pause to think of such immense grace, its gravity can hold our quivering spirits still and cause us to rest more deeply than we ever have because we have nothing left to accomplish on our own. We simply receive what our good Father gives us in Jesus. That's why Bible translation matters so much: We want everyone around the world to be able to receive the spiritual rest, hope and salvation found in Christ. We want them to discover his love for them in their own language.

As we discover that the layers of his love are too much for us to hold, we naturally pass grace on to the people around us, inviting them to also find rest under the glorious weight of God’s grace.

Rest and Receive

Spend some time being held still by God’s grace and consider these questions:

  • What recent worries or thoughts have kept me from being able to rest mentally?
  • Where have I tended to turn for relief when my spirit and mind are spinning? What has been the result?
  • What would it look like for me to fully rest in God’s grace and share it with others?
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