Anticipating Grace

It happened when I was sitting underneath a blanket on the top of a mountain wondering how my life might be different if I anticipated grace.

I am an optimist (or so I thought) who always finds something positive to say; a real silver lining-finder. But it dawned on me on the top of a mountain that all too often I live in anticipation of judgment, not grace. I expect judgments to be handed down to me in the corridors of my life. The judges seem inescapable – flatmates, colleagues, family, people I look up to – and their say feels like the final word on my identity and worth. I feel subject to these ubiquitous judges and their pervasive judgments, either real or imagined. I live defeated in expectation of condemning judgment.

Simply put, I live in fear.

To anticipate judgment is to live in submission to fear. It is to allow stomach-clenching, shadow-lurking, freedom-robbing fear to have the determining word over your life.

Fear is not what I want for my life, and it is not what I want for yours. It is a thief and it shackles us into self-protective, defensive, avoidant lives.

The question is: will I subject myself to people’s judgments and live crippled by fear or not? I prefer or not.

But where does that leave me?

It leaves me with my good and faithful God. He too has handed down a judgment to me, but it is a judgment of a different kind. It is a judgment of grace – one I do not deserve – that reads ‘not guilty’. What I deserve and expect from those around me is a judgment of condemnation. But what I receive from the Alpha and Omega, the owner of the final word, is forgiveness and blamelessness. His pure and blameless son took upon himself my deserved condemnation so I might freely wear his blamelessness.

Although I struggle to live it out, this is who I am. I have been judged blameless. This truthful word of grace is stronger and louder and truer and more authoritative than any word of condemnation either spoken or imagined. This is the truth that offers me freedom from fear if I would hear and believe that there is no condemnation for me. I can confidently anticipate grace.

Would you anticipate grace with me? Would you live free with me? Let’s soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not be faint.

Let’s live in anticipation of grace.

(First published on