As I drove into the parking lot, I thanked God for His favor in advance. I was here not to make a purchase, but to get some money back on my new laptop that was now on sale for less than the purchase price two weeks ago. And, I was here in the middle of the afternoon on a weekend, not normally a time I would venture out to make a transaction like this among the crowds. I hoped God’s favor would include no resistance by the customer service people in making the price adjustment. Beyond that, I also hoped there would only be a few people ahead of me in line at this busy time. That was what I expected grace to look like – complete with the patience to wait and be kind.
Imagine my surprise as I turned toward the customer service department to find no line. As in, there wasn’t one. No one was even being waited on at the counter, and the employees were waiting to be needed. I picked up my pace (really!) to beat all the customers I knew would appear from other parts of the store, all who would have long and involved problems. They didn’t come.
One of the service reps, who noticed me arriving, promptly stepped up to the counter to welcome me. Before I had a chance to explain my situation, she saw the receipt and advertisement in my hand and asked with a smile, “A price adjustment?” With no further questions, she performed the required steps on her register and handed me a new receipt, indicating a nice credit to my account. In under a minute from the time I entered the store, I was out the door and on my way home, a completely satisfied customer.
Now I thanked God for His grace after the fact, contemplating how it looked so different from what I expected. But God knew in advance what I needed. This time, I didn’t need the grace of His patience to wait in even a short line, nor of His self-control in convincing the employee to give a price adjustment – or even to walk away gracefully not having gotten my way. Another time, I might need it to look like that and more.
Today, God’s grace was far beyond what I had even dared to consider. No delays in any way by employee or customer. Rather, His favor made my errand such smooth sailing that it seemed I was on a sea of glass with no one else around.
I don’t know what His grace will look like next time, but I know it will be exactly what is needed for that moment and that situation. As simply as a child, I want to expect, without limitation, God’s abundant grace in my life, just as He has promised.
Sometimes, grace looks like . . .