My husband and I decided a hobby we both would enjoy together is biking. The only problem is, I didn't have a bike. We did what every person who needs something does: searched on Amazon. I am not sure if this was the smartest idea, but we gave Amazon bikes a try. Three days later, a huge box showed up at my door. I was so excited and asked my husband, Johnathon, to put the bike together. He was happy to do it.
After twenty minutes, we realized something was wrong. Most of the bike was assembled, but the nuts and bolts were missing. Where were the nuts and bolts? I tried putting the handlebars on without them, searching the box again, checking to see if we accidentally threw them out. I even looked at the directions! Surely they wouldn't give us a bike with missing pieces. Whichever way we looked at it, we concluded that something had to be missing.
Sometimes it feels like the necessary pieces are just missing. I have felt that way on my faith journey. The Bible is a template, but the supernatural inner working of grace doesn't necessarily come through the outline itself but through receiving it in our hearts. Doing the right thing feels draining. I know how this feels. The big pieces are all there, but nothing to hold it all together. I know what I need to do in my life, but I can't put the pieces together. Broken relationships, poor decisions, bad habits, destructive behaviors. How do we stop the cycle? It feels like the bike chain of life fell off, but really the bike was never put together to begin with.
From what I have seen in my own life, when I am trying to fix myself, I never get anywhere. The nuts and bolts that can put my life together are from the foundation of God's undeserved grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God; we are approved by Him and pleasing to Him. God delights when we come before Him in humility asking for His help, knowing that He is the only one who can put the pieces together again. We can't clean up our own act. If we don't let grace put the pieces together, we will only have a shell of a life. Ephesians 2:8-9 describes God's grace for us: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Without the nuts and bolts of grace, we can do nothing.
My bike was not fully functioning without the nuts and bolts, so the company sent me a whole knew complete package. Like the bike without nuts and bolts, we can't use the Bible without the inner working of grace. It is not a matter of checking things off of a list, but a matter of the heart. We need to stop trying to put together a bike without the nuts and bolts of God's grace. It isn't going to work. If we don't live out God's grace in our lives, we are just a pile of metal…junk, if you will. I constantly need to remind myself to stop living in my own power. For me, this is a daily struggle. When we decide to have a relationship with Christ, we are made new (Ephesians 4:17-24).
When we live out God's grace in our lives, our relationships change and the way we see ourselves changes – life doesn't feel like a grind anymore. I've found that the best part of living in God's grace is the ability to walk with God and not feel shame. I am leaning on His grace to change me. Throw out the old, take hold of the nuts and bolts of God's grace, and look out –– it's going to be a ride.
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.