Last week I wrote asking prayer for Alex, a little boy who came to GSF severely malnourished. He is one year old, mostly skin and bones and was often refusing to eat. The nurses took him to a doctor and found that he had very low hemoglobin, and several other indications that he was not well. It was obvious that he could not survive like that much longer. Because he was so needy, Claudia decided to care for him in her home. In the babies home here at GSF, there are about a dozen kids, and it is hard to keep a very close eye on a particularly needy child. Therefore, the Arrangos took him in.
Recently while I was talking with Claudia's older girls about little Alex I realized what a beautiful picture of grace it is to see Claudia and her family care for this need baby. It is hard work to care for any baby, but it is particularly challenging with a severely malnourished one who is often unhappy (probably because he feels so bad.) It is quite an "expense" to the whole family to take in such a needy child.
Baby Alex is a good picture of us. On our own we would die. Actually, we are already dead in our sin. We, just like Alex, cannot do anything to save ourselves. Alex is receiving "unmerited favor." He has done nothing to earn the grace Claudia and her family are showing to him. And we cannot earn the grace of God. It is a "gift of God, not by works, that no one should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) The grace Alex is receiving is costly in terms of time, energy and patience, but the grace we have received cost Jesus his life. He died to pay the penalty for our sin.
Claudia's daughters are also being "gracious" just as they have received grace. They were once like Alex, both physically and spiritually. And now they are helping live out the grace that they have received. Many times when I stop by Claudia's house, I find Alex eating. But when he is not eating, he is usually being held and hugged by one of Claudia's daughters, or Claudia herself. I hope that I can learn to be like these girls and demonstrate to others the grace I have received through Jesus Christ. Whether it is caring for a needy child or forgiving someone who has hurt me, grace is costly. But when I remember Christ's expense to show me grace, every other cost pales in comparison.
Seeing this tangible expression of grace from this family, has made me even more grateful for the grace I have received. I hope you are also encouraged today to live out the grace you have received!