The Thing About Grace: Part 3

by Aaron Seaney

This was not my original intention of a blog post. I am still working out my thoughts on a series about the power of words that I hope to have out by 2014 (at least at the pace I am going). But today came such tragic news in the world and I believe the Holy Spirit gave me words of comfort for some one out there. For those who don’t know this last Thursday Adrian Peterson’s (the running back for the Minnesota Vikings) 2 year old son was beat to death by his Ex’s boyfriend. Now I am not a Vikings fan, and I don’t follow this man’s life at all, but this story struck me not because he was a celebrity but because of what happened. You see Adrian Peterson’s son was 2 years old…my son, Urijah, is 2 years old. This is when I got mad.

As I read the horrific details of what happened on the internet I couldn’t think of any other two year old in critical condition but my son. This may sound sick, or sad, but I couldn’t help it. As soon as I read it that is all I could think about. That lead me to think about two things: 1. How could any one hurt a precious toddler like that? and 2. If that was in fact my son I wouldn’t stop until I saw that man suffer. Not good. Red Flag. This was such a dark place in my heart that for a brief moment I actually wished harm upon the man that did that to Adrian Peterson’s son. Thankfully this is where Jesus entered and really started speaking to me. He has an amazing way of taking me out of the dark places after mere seconds. Pulling me towards his comforting light and reminding me who I am in him.

Jesus started to remind of all the times I have spoken about grace. He talked to me about where my heart actually is. He talked to me about the fact that I really don’t wish this man harm, but instead healing. The same healing that I pray for Adrian Peterson. The same healing that I pray for myself on a daily basis. Now I want to pause and clarify something, I’m not saying Adrian Peterson should in some way forget this ever happened and forgive this man right away, what I am saying is that I pray Adrian Peterson seeks Christ in this matter and allows his own heart to heal instead of become bitter and hard. This is not an easy task and it doesn’t happen over night but I still pray that is the outcome. Now back to Jesus speaking life into me. Wham! The lights came on.

More truth about grace! We absolutely have to give it to the most “undeserving” people! Jesus didn’t yell at the prostitutes, drunks, and tax collectors. He yelled at the “judgey” religious people! He stuck up for the “awful” people who didn’t know God. In fact he told us to visit prisoners! He wanted us to go love on the unlovable! The best part about this and here comes the twist, most often than not people think that the one that deserves grace the least is themselves. I know this is true of me. I didn’t even want to give myself grace after hoping this guy gets hurt in prison. I thought I was scum who didn’t deserve to be in ministry school, but luckily my God is very loving and loves to tell me when I am being ridiculous. Which leads me, as always, to some prayer requests:

1.  Pray for Adrian Peterson’s family. Celebrity or not this man is in an awful place that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Please pray for his family’s healing, and his own healing. It is unfortunate that he will be in front of camera’s and media during such a difficult time but pray that he gets the peace to spend time with God and really seek the answers he needs.

2. Pray for me. Seriously, it was very telling on where I am as a dad when I read that article because I want to go to a place that is not very safe for a long time. I need prayer to be able to let go of these thoughts and give my family over to God. I need prayer that I will have complete trust in Him as I take my family to foreign countries.

3. Pray for the man who did this. I won’t stop preaching this. I know this is what Jesus would teach, therefore, it is what I will teach–always.  Please keep praying that his heart will come to Christ and that he will find repentance. Please even pray for his protection in prison.

Again, I always invite comments. Thanks guys.