Grace Like Jean Valjean And Knives

Healing Grace

{Ben and Ann}

Forgiveness through Grace can be tough to receive. In Les Miserables, Jean Valjean was rendered stupefied by it at first. As the story progressed, Grace began to radiate from him to others. He opened himself to God. Jean Valjean dared to live as a forgiven man. I encourage you to dare to live as a forgiven child of God. Allow healing to enter your soul.

The healing peace of Grace is a delivery from bondage. Though I {Ann} felt delivered, I felt as though a knife still protruded from my stomach. Receiving forgiveness from Ben helped heal me as it enabled me to begin to still my soul. In order to receive Grace, we must be still and stay in the pain. This seems counterintuitive. Won't accepting Grace be warm and fuzzy and peaceful all the time? The short answer is no.

In her book, Welcome to My Country, psychologist Lauren Slater shares the irony of first being a patient in a mental health facility and later returning as a therapist. Earlier we shared her profound words about stillness in her healing journey, “...health does not mean making the pains go away. I don't believe they ever go away. I have not healed so much as learned to sit still and wait while pain does its dancing work, trying not to panic or twist in ways that makes the blades tear deeper, finally infecting the wounds.”

Even with the knife still in my stomach, when I am in my deepest pain, sometimes all I can do is sit still in front of God. There is no pleading, or praying, no twisting, just falling to my knees and being loved by my Father. In those moments, hopes of getting out of pain and restoring my marriage took a back seat where they rightly belonged so I could merely allow myself to be present with and loved by my God.

Healing for me {Ben} was a transformation of my relationship with God. I heard in my church circles that we were a once-saved-always-saved church. I believe God's Grace is outlandish and scandalous and beyond what we can imagine. If we are in His hand for a moment we are ever in His hand.

But the overemphasis of this thought led me to be passive in my faith to where I didn't surrender to God's pursuit daily. I can read Scripture and my heart still not be open to God. I have learned I need to have heart and soul time daily with Jesus. I need Jesus in the form of daily Grace tenderizing my soul.

I don't always remember, but I seek to remember, that without Grace I don't even take my next breath. Without God I just disintegrate. I fall apart. So as I learned to daily receive Grace I had a greater capacity to let God's love flow through me, like a cascade of water through a saturated sponge. Grace flowed through us, to restore our relationship, to develop more intimacy in our lives.

Like Jean Valjean, we were stupefied by God’s Grace. In the shadow of our internal worlds disbelief initially reigned; yet throughout the months of recovery we surrendered more to His love. In overcoming our wounds and fears we dared believe that God’s Grace was for us, and we dared to live as a forgiven husband and wife.

Meditate on the words above. What words or thoughts tug at your heart?