I was listening to Enya sing this song just now and I began to think of grace and when, and how it comes.
Grace comes to us when we do not deserve it. That is the meaning of grace. It comes when we have just committed the sin we never thought we would, or the the sin we have repeated over and over and have made vows never to do again.
In the past, when I sinned, I viewed God's face as hidden from me by the dark cloud of sin. But now, when I sin, I am shocked to lift my head and see the light of God's face shining intensely on me. Only the light does not expose my sin, but it shines through my flesh and exposes the righteousness inside that I have from Christ. He convicts me of my righteousness and urges me, even when I insist on self-flagellation, to receive His grace and love. He proposes to me the preposterous idea of continuing in my freedom from fear and guilt, and invites me to sit down and eat with him, taking no heed of the sin I just committed, but to continue to enjoy Him and feed off of Him.
He insists that over time, His love will begin to restrain me. If I just continue in His word, I will know Him and begin to be set free.
Even growth in grace comes by grace. I could never, in all my struggles, even begin to be set free from fear of condemnation. It is truly God who gives the growth.