Nothing comes from nothing; nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good. – The Sound of Music
The sentiment in this song is a beautiful and tender expression of grace from a human perspective. It’s a statement of astonishment — of surprise. It’s a universal feeling of what happens when we fall in love. Suddenly someone loves us back — someone more wonderful than what we feel we deserve. We know there are truly unlovable things about us, but for some reason unknown to us, someone is willing to overlook those things, or perhaps — even better — they don’t even see them.
This is grace … being loved anyway. We didn’t earn it; we don’t deserve it; yet somehow, we get it anyway. So it’s only natural, since we are all on a performance basis from birth, to think that we must have done something to deserve this. This is just too good. Yet deep down, we all know we haven’t. So we feel vulnerable and fragile, lest someone find out the truth about who we really are.
Of course the real truth of the matter with grace is that we didn’t do anything good; we got it anyway. In fact, what we have received has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God. He has chosen to be gracious to us based solely on Himself.
Indeed, something can come from nothing. This has been true since the creation of the world when God said, “Let there be light” out of the darkness and the void, and there was light. Like our son Christopher used to say when he was two years old: “And God said, ‘Will someone please turn on the lights!’” Except that there were no lights to turn on. There was no switch. There was nothing — only chaos. So God spoke into the nothingness and out came light. He is the only One who can do that — bring something out of nothing. And He has done the same thing with us, as Paul says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Our hearts were as dark and void as the chaos before the world. And God caused His light to shine out of that darkness by merely speaking it into existence. Something did indeed come from nothing in our lives. And He can do it again … and again. He’s doing it every day. That is His grace.