Monday, November 8, 2010


I can remember this day as if it happened yesterday.

I was in 6th grade – a quiet, well-behaved, studious, serious, little girl. I had been home sick for a few days – it was my first day back…

And there was a science test!!

I panicked!

I remember asking my teacher if I could take it another day. He politely said, “No, why don’t you give it a try?”

Well, since I had used up ALL my courage asking him if I could skip the test, I just nodded my head meekly, and slowly walked back to my seat.

The test was a disaster! I didn’t know much of anything. I’d missed days when they had covered some of the material, and some of it just wasn’t in my head because I hadn’t studied. I remember waiting all day until I could go home and cry on my mom’s shoulder…

I knew I hadn’t done well.

A couple of days later, the teacher handed those tests back. I was scared to death to see my grade – I should have been. It was worse than I had thought. I stared at the big red "D-" at the top of the page like it was written in another language. I was stunned. I looked around quickly to see if anyone had seen it, too. No, everyone was looking at their own tests.

So, OK – damage assessment.

Only two classmates knew about the grade. The one who had graded it for the teacher, and the one who had passed it out. But that was the least of my problems. You see, I was very sensitive about my grades…I was a “good student.” And I had messed up…BIG TIME!

At recess, I went to talk to my teacher. I handed him my test, and then I started crying – sputtering out to him all the reasons why I had failed, and could I please have another try, and I was just so sad to fail the test, and I want to do better…etc. I think you get the picture.

Then he handed the test back to me and said, “I don’t know why you want to take this test again. Looks like you did quite well on it.”


“But I didn’t (sniff, sniff)! I got a D- (sniff, sniff)!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, as he handed back my test with a giant "A" written at the top with his initials next to it.

“Looks like someone made a mistake grading your paper,” he said with a smile and a wink.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what he had done. I finally just said, “Oh, thank you!”

It’s the same way with God.

I’ve gone through some times in my life where I really messed up. I didn’t even come close to “passing the test.” I got a really bad grade.

And then the reality sinks in – I’ve failed miserably.

I go to the Lord, crying, and sputter out my regrets, my remorse, my shame – “Oh Lord! I’ve failed. Can I have another chance?

And He says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And He hands me back my heart, with a giant cross written on it, with His initials next to it – J.C. (Jesus Christ).

“Looks like someone made a mistake grading your paper,” He says with a smile.

“Now go and sin no more.”

I am so grateful for the grace of God grace that ERASES confessed sins – and counts them against me NO MORE.

“Then he says: ‘I will NEVER AGAIN remember their sins and lawless deeds.’” (Hebrews 10:17)

“Oh Lord, thank you!”

Have you ever had a “failing grade” changed into an “A”?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for this post, which is quite apt for me this morning. Have a good day. God Bless - Nita

  2. What grace and mercy -- and what a great illustration for the way God treats us, according to His kindness, not according to what we deserve. He's given me lots of "A"s when I've deserved "D"s (or rather, "F"s)!

  3. Best ever!!!!

    Seriously, this one speaks to me on so many levels. I was the textbook overachiever and straight A worry wart. I could literally feel your anxiety about the grade. When you even brought up about the other students KNOWING about it, I got that one too.

    I *got it* in a bigger way with the big picture. I guess it's because of that voice of the old lady who taught me Sunday School saying, "Be sure your sins will find you out... Be sure your sins will find you out..." It kind of haunts you as you struggle to grow in the faith.

    When you finally *get it* that the ONLY one who really matters has erased it completely and given you His Son's score instead, welll...

    This little overachiever gets a peace that passes understanding down in her heart.

    (Thought I would bust into song there since I was recalling my Sunday School days.)

    Miss you over the weekend. I'm going to try to get caught up the best I can. God did some serious shining in the past few days.

  4. Hi Sharon -

    Your story was a joy. At first I thought that the teacher "truly" made a mistake and meant to give you an "A" because you were out sick and so he gave you a "pass" because of that. But then when you mentioned his "wink"...
    Great story, Sharon.

    I have received so many failing grades that GOD has turned into A's, and even triple AAA's that I have no way to count. Praise His forgiving and merciful name. THANK YOU, LORD!

  5. oh my gosh, I too have have lots of failing grades changed to A's because of God's mercy!! It always amazes me too that he continues to shine his mercy upon me!! I'm glad your teacher had compassion too during that season of your life Sharon!

    have a great Monday; bit drizzly here :)


  6. You're talking to the queen of grace here! I am so thankful for second chances! Have a wonderful day.


  7. This sounds very familiar! Maybe not a
    failing grade into an "A" but close.
    Thank God for His mercies!

  8. sharon, I love this. I love the way you wrote you described His love, His grace. This will definitely stay with me. Awesome post. ☺

  9. Your post brought me back top my grade school days. Love how you told the story about grace!

  10. Sharon, being one of those fellow studious students I can so relate to your post and love the way you connected it to grace and God's forgiveness.

  11. Nita - I'm glad you enjoyed this. I love when God sends a "timely" word to someone!!

    Glowin Girl - I am so thankful for God's immeasurable kindness. His mercies are new every morning. I have also had several F's turned into A's!! Undeserved favor - that is grace indeed!

    Debbie - I knew you'd understand! I've had some sins "find me out" - it wasn't pleasant. But then, I've also seen those very same sins turn into A's - and I received God's undeserved blessing! Awesome... I'm so glad that God loves the "overachiever" who falls short. I've missed you too. I can't wait to hear about the weekend. I've been praying like crazy! Shine on, Lord!

    Sandra - Glad you liked this story. It's funny how events like this really stick in your mind - and then, years later, God uses them to teach you something about Himself. He is so good. I stand with you and say, "Praise His forgiving name!"

    Betty - My 6th grade teacher was the kindest man. I'll never forget him. He made me feel special. God's mercy - it amazes me. I fall at His feet in gratitude that He chooses to see me through His Son. (We were cold and cloudy today - back to jackets...)

    Mary - Second chances...I've had some tenth or twentieth chances!! And God was still merciful, still forgiving, and still loving! Hope you had a blessed Monday, too!

    Sandy - Don't you just love our Lord?! He is the King of the heavenly second chance.

    Sarah - Thank you for your kind comment. This story speaks my heart, because I had some very "D" years. And the fact that God not only rescued me, but BLESSED me - that is a gift I can hardly take in. He counts my sin no more...

    Anita - Glad you liked this. Grade school was fun - but also stressful, at least to me. Kinda like life! But God is there, with His magic marker, changing my grades, giving me His grace.

    Wanda - It's funny how us studious students fretted over so much! I'm glad that you related to the way the story connected to God's grace and forgiveness. He is the ultimate kind and patient Teacher!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friends.


  12. I second the nomination for "Best ever!!!!"

    This was *awesome*!

    This exact situation didn't happen to me, but it very well could have and I felt it right along with you. Then you got to the punchline, and ohhhh man.

    Somehow you always manage to unexpectedly punch me in the gut with your posts. Don't worry...I love you for it! :)

    This is the perfect analogy of God's grace. I absolutely love the picture of him taking our failure and replacing it with a perfect score. Thank you, Jesus!

    (And Thank YOU, Sharon!)

  13. Thank God for second chances and such a wonderful blog..

  14. Okay - I know I keep saying this - but your mini-sermons are awesome mind blowing - so
    simple and so deep and meaningful.

    And how sweet that teacher was to you. I don't think I remember any time I experienced that. What a blessing to you.


  15. Jennie - You're welcome. A good gut-punching between friends is a good thing from time to time! Isn't it just incredibly wonderful how God gives us that perfect score? He is the ultimate "do over!" (Hope you're feeling better...)

    Carrie - God never runs out of those second chances, does He? His forgiveness is expansive. I'm so glad that you stopped by. (Loved your post about Buster Brown...I'm a big fan of your blog!)

    Sandie - That sixth grade teacher was the best! He was a wonderful teacher, a kind man, and also a great role model. Here's a sidelight you might like - my husband was in that same class with me!! Thanks for your compliment - I like to blow minds from time to time - with God's help, of course!!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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