What Is Grace?

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 3
It was the custom of a certain family to meet together during the holiday season. One year the reunion took place in the house of the eldest son, Henry, who was an avowed infidel.
When the family was seated at the table, the old, gray haired father, reverently thanked God for the food they were about to enjoy.
But Henry angrily objected: "You have no right to give God thanks. I bought this food, every bit of it; and I will not have you thanking God for what I bought and paid for. There is no God. I don't believe in any God at all. Look here! If there is a God I'll give Him a chance. I will give Him five minutes to cut me down.”
He took out his watch and laid it on the table, while the rest of the family sat aghast. They knew what God could do: but would He?
One minute went by... two... three... four... five... and the defier of God was not cut down.
“There," he said, "where is your God? He has had His chance, and lost it.”
“Son," said the old father, "when you put your watch on the table, I began to pray to the Lord for you. When you were a child I gave you to God, son, and I have never taken you back. I believe God will yet save you, my boy.”
Soon after the gathering had broken up, the old father died; but Henry went his own way. He knew better than his father.
But after fifteen years he was seen walking down the street in rags. In his pocket he had his last bit of money.
“What shall I do with it?" he thought. "I will have two glasses of whiskey, and carry home a bottle of beer.”
But even as he turned to go to the nearest bar, the recollection of that family scene suddenly struck him and an arrow of conviction entered his soul.
“O God, have mercy upon me, and answer my dear old father's prayer!" he exclaimed.
Instead of going into the bar he went back to his home and his wife. He got down on his knees and cried to God for mercy. And God answered his dear old father's prayers, and blessed him.
He was saved.
That was grace!
Oh, you say, I expected he would be cut down! That's man's way. But God did not cut him down. He spared him, and then saved him. Thus grace wins its noblest victories.