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Grace, Mercy, and the Rocket Scientist

So let the man who feels sure of his standing today be careful that he does not fall tomorrow.  1 Corinthians 10:12 J.B. Phillips

grace mercy and the rocket scientistIn my younger days, I was full of ambition and self-confidence.

When I landed a job at a high-tech medical company, I already had my B.A. degree but was eager to learn more. I just didn’t find out how to use their computer system. Instead, I read all twenty binders of instructions for the information technology team. I took every class offered to become certified in a related discipline. I also read widely in the realm of general business books.

When the company opened a new position in a sub-discipline, the vice president invited me to apply for the position, which would be a promotion.

I took a test and made it through several rounds of interviews. Since the company made it a practice to promote from within, I became more excited about the prospect. Imagine my surprise when the company president announced they were hiring someone from the outside for the position.

After recovering my professional demeanor, I asked the vice president where I had gone wrong and what had made the other candidate a superior choice.

“Was he a rocket scientist?” I inquired. “Had he written a book?”

The vice president threw his head back and laughed for several moments. When he recovered, he said, “Actually, he comes to us from NASA, so in a way, he is a rocket scientist. But he didn’t write a book. He wrote two books on the field.”

We laughed together, and I learned a lesson about humility. I may have worked to earn the promotion, but the other applicant deserved it more than I.

On further reflection, I discovered this extended far beyond my work life. We cannot work hard enough to earn our salvation because we do not deserve it.

Dwight Moody said, “A man does not get grace till he comes down to the ground, till he sees he needs grace. When a man stoops to the dust and acknowledges that he needs mercy, then it is that the Lord will give him grace.”

What have you been working hard to earn? Can you humbly accept what God offers you by His grace?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and whitedaemon.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)





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Laurie Herlich

Laurie Herlich followed the Lord’s leading across the country to the promised land of Northeast Tennessee. There she writes cozy mysteries and devotions in a converted garden hut situated in her back yard.