There is no sledgehammer God — every rational being knows that.

We can appropriate certain things to the Divine; we can justify answered prayer. In some cases, we can even chalk acts up to miracles, speak in tongues, feel a soul empowerment or body transformation.

You know, Holy Spirit stuff. The kinds of things that set Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and Charismatics ablaze with frenzy.

But, most of the time – for me, all of the time – grace is found in subtleties. In the in-between. In times of reflection, way after the fact. Grace is the culmination of the interworking of past events, added and subtracted, assembled and rearranged, formulated into this thing we call life. It’s predicated on the choices we make, the choices that God leads us toward, and the choices made by others. God is the chess master. We are the pawns in His game.

But, that’s cliche. Think about what makes you happy in life. Is it your significant other? Your kids? Your job? Your faith? Now think about how you got there. All the sacrifices you made. All the options you had for each decision you made along the way. How choosing differently might have changed the course of your happiness. That is God being merciful to you, regardless of the trials you may have had en route. That is grace.

Grace is not an easy concept to ascertain. It isn’t superficial. It shapes our cores, not our appearance. It’s meant for postcards, not billboards. It finds its way into the darkest corners of our lives and extends a hand to lead us to light.

It’s meant for loss, not gain.

And therein lies the challenge. Too often we scowl at God for not answering prayer, for our afflictions and illnesses, our vices and plights, the tragedies in the world. Too often we dwell in the murky waters of depression and self- loathing, only to come up for air when glints of hope appear on the surface.

But, grace isn’t found in the glints of hope. Instead, it’s found deep in the cloudy water that envelops, cools, and softens our skin.2 It’s the molecular change in our cells that readies us for difficult times ahead. It’s a shapeshifter — the hand that molds our clay.
 

Read the full article at My Ink Dance