Wave Upon Wave

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And of His fullness we have all received, grace for grace. John 1:16

Worn out and stressed? God doesn’t want His children living life fearful, worried, and anxious—He’s got a better plan for you.

Imagine for a moment that you’re standing on a sandy beach and watching the waves of the ocean roll inexorably, one after another, to shore. Picture them picking up speed as they surge toward the shoreline, then cresting, curling, and collapsing into white froth upon the shore as they wash over the sand. As one wave breaks and falls, another is close behind, rushing in to take its place even before the first has fully receded. Close your eyes and picture the waves coming in—rising, breaking, and claiming the shore in a ceaseless, never-ending cycle, one wave close on the heels of another, fueled by the wind and the water of an endless ocean.

Everyone loves the sight and sound of waves lapping against the seashore. There’s something about watching and hearing the waves washing over the shore again and again that brings on a sense of serenity, relaxation, and calm. As I was spending time with the Lord, this very picture of wave after wave rushing to the shore was what I received from the Lord as I was studying a particular scripture about His grace:

And of His fullness we have all received, grace for grace. John 1:16

In this beautiful passage of scripture, John is talking about Jesus, who is full of grace and truth (John 1:14), and that we have received His “grace for grace.” What does John mean by us receiving His “grace for grace”? The word “for” in the original Greek text is the word “anti,” from which we get our English word “anti.” Apart from “anti” meaning “against” or “opposed to” (where we have words such as “anti-Christ” and “antivirus”), in the Greek “anti” also means “instead of ” or “in place of ” (for example, the anti-Christ is so named because he is a person trying to imitate or take the place of Christ).

Right there, the Lord opened up this verse, particularly the phrase “grace for grace” to me: “grace anti grace” really means grace in place of grace. That’s when I the picture of the waves crashing one after the other, endlessly and relentlessly from the Lord. I saw how His grace comes into our lives in the same way waves roll over the seashore—one wave inexorably taking the place of the one that went before it, from the endless activities of the vast, powerful ocean. Isn’t this so true of how God has worked in our lives? The first wave of grace came in, and we got gloriously saved. We thought that was all there was. But when we needed wisdom at one point, or provision or healing further down the road, wave upon wave of God’s grace came in, bringing His supply to more than meet our need, time and again.

I want to encourage you with this thought today: we can expect grace in place of grace, wave upon wave of God’s amazing and glorious grace, for the rest of our lives! Out of the vast ocean of His grace, wave upon wave of the provision you need are headed your way. Did we do something to deserve God’s relentless and unfailing grace? Certainly not! It’s all because our Lord Jesus went to the cross more than 2,000 years ago to pay the full price for our sins. Wave upon wave of God’s fiery judgment and righteous indignation fell upon the body of our substitute, until every single one of our sins was punished. And when Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), it tore the veil separating us from a holy God, and a flood tide of God’s grace and blessings was unleashed upon us!

Do you need another wave of God’s grace today? God knows exactly what you need, wherever you are. See the waves of his abounding grace rushing in to lift you, to help you, to restore you, to encourage you—endlessly and relentlessly.