Grace at 2 AM

17 Oct

riley 2 I used to think that I was a servant, and would always go out of my way to help others.  However, that idealized portrait of myself dissipated when the cries in the middle of the night from my daughter Lucy began last month.

My inward response was, “Kristen, you go change her.”

In my mind, the logic was flawless.  She needed to be up to feed her anyway.  I, on the other hand, should be allowed to get more sleep.  Although it seemed logical, I am not sure that my wife appreciated my wisdom.

The truth is that when I was most vulnerable and without any excuses, I found myself not the saint that I had always imagined.  I even considered faking sleep at times that first week or two so I wouldn’t have to leave my cozy bed.

Truth be told, I choose to be selfish, I choose to let my darling wife take care of the neon yellow poopy diaper.

I once heard that becoming a dad helps draw out new characteristics of a man.  I have found that I’m learning more about myself, but especially my weaknesses.  I’ve learned that I still have a ways to go when it comes to serving other people.

The good news is that I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to pretend that I have it all together.  One of the great things I have learned this year is that I can choose to forgive myself and give myself grace by placing myself before God’s gracious throne.

I don’t have to have it all together, but through my deficiencies I can point others to the grace of God.

This lesson of God’s grace is a lesson I want to instill in my precious daughter.  I want her to grab onto the promise that God’s grace is abundant and that she doesn’t have to beat herself up when she’s low, I want my daughter to embrace this reality and to flourish in the beauty of his Amazing Grace.

I’ll still work on getting up when Lucy cries, but may God give me the ability to extend grace to others even at 2am.

Rileys-41Jeremy Riley is a twenty-something husband, father to a
beautiful daughter, and recent graduate student living the dream in the
O.C. A soon to be transplant to San Francisco, he work as a youth
mentor and helps them think through big questions of life. He is a
history lover, political junkie, and a stand-up desk guy.  Jeremy blogs
regularly on the intersection of faith and life at
and Tweets at @jeremydriley.

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