For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:9–10
Paul has a perfect way of expressing how glorious the grace of God is in life. Saul, before his conversion and name change, persecuted the early church with a vigor that surpassed all of the Pharisees. He was a “dirty dog” to the early Christians but because of the grace of God his life was changed. God used Paul’s zeal to further His kingdom, enhance the Gospel message, and spread His grace to the gentiles. God’s glorious grace can channel a person’s gifts, once used against God, to spread God’s message as well as His goodness.
Grace is a wonderful gift none of us earn but which all of us are allowed to partake. It does not matter whether you are sick or healthy, rich or poor, naïve or street smart, or a hard worker or a bum. Grace comes upon you no matter what circumstance you are facing. Grace is God’s gift to everyone as evidenced by today’s passage.
As I struggle with the demands of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I have come to more fully understand how truly wonderful His gift of grace is in my life. There was a time when I felt I had to earn grace by serving God in extraordinary ways. I worked on Emmaus Walks, served as a Lay Speaker in churches, chaired church committees, visited the sick and homebound, and filled in for our Pastor all in an effort to gain God’s grace. But none of this made a difference when it comes to parceling out God’s grace! Now that my abilities have diminished considerably, I have come to understand how God’s grace still abounds in my life and it won’t diminish accordingly to my declining abilities.
By the grace of God I am still alive, joyful, content, at peace, and blessed with purposeful activities. His grace definitely continues to flourish in my life. I’ve come to understand that God’s grace is something Alzheimer’s disease will never change. Whether I’m sick or healthy, His grace continues to overflow in my life.
If you are struggling with the daily demands of dementia, turn to God today for His help. Allow His grace to flow gently into your life. You will feel the warmth of His love and He will bring strength, comfort, peace, joy, and contentment into your life as well. Accept His grace today!