“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8
It was a stroke of accidental brilliance and it all started in 1986. Jerry and Janie Murrell offered some advice to Jerry’s four younger brothers. They simply said, “Go to college or start a business.” They decided on the business route and started a restaurant in Virginia called “Five Guys Burgers and Fries.” And like they say, “The rest is history.” Today there are 1,500 locations and 1,500 more on the drawing board. Their sales pitch is nothing but fresh beef and nothing but fries cooked in 100% peanut oil. There are no freezers in the joint, only coolers.
Well, all that is nice but that is not what I like about Five Guys. I mean they serve one mean burger and their fries are the best of any national chain but that’s not what grabbed me. So, here’s the deal. I walk in and order a small cheeseburger. “What” you say? Yup you heard right. The reason I order a small cheeseburger is because it is big…really big. But it gets better. The guy at the counter says, “what do you want on that cheeseburger?” And here is when it gets really good. I look up at the sign and there are probably 20 or 25 toppings for the burger. And get ready. They are all free.
Did I just say “free?” Yes sir, I did. You can have everything from a tomato to a grilled mushroom and the hits just keep on coming. No extra charge. Amazing. The best part is that it is genuinely good food. Granted burgers and fries for most men are its own food group but you gotta love one loaded beyond words. But, wait, it is gonna get better.
The guy at the counter says, “You want fries with that burger?” Hello? Do hens lay eggs? Do preachers eat fried chicken? Do southerners eat grits? “Yes, sir, I want fries” I answer. So I order a small fry. “What” you say? Yup, you heard right. The reason I order a small fries is man-food heaven. So, as you watch, they fill a small cup full of fries. Are you listening? They put the cup in the bag and then they get this scoop the size of a small shovel and dump a full load in the bag. Wait. Then he gets another half scoop and dumps that in. Can someone say, “Hallelujah!” Order a small and get a “boat load” for no extra charge. Holy moley!
But wait…the guy is saying something else. “Hey dude, do you want a shake with that?” Ok, by now I am drooling all over my shirt. “Well sure” I respond. He says, “What kind?” I look at the sign and there it is. Heaven. It says, “milk shakes…all mix-ins are free.” “What?” I said. “You mean I can have a chocolate, banana, strawberry, tutti-frutti, peanut, marshmallow milkshake with sprinkles on top.” “Yup” he said “all at no extra charge.” Oh.my.goodness! Excuse me while I wipe my mouth.
So what amazes me about Five Guys is, are you ready, their lavishness. Their burgers, their fries, their milkshakes are all lavishly done. They don’t give you a little of anything. They pour it on, dump it on and then do it again. Just like God and His grace. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 1:7-8. He says we have redemption though His death, the forgiveness of all our sins (someone say hallelujah) and all because of His grace that He lavished on us. That means He pours it on, pours it on again and then just keeps pouring. It is amazing grace because of the quality and the quantity.
I can just imagine stepping up to God’s counter and He says, “What do you need, son?” I like it when He calls me “son.” And I explain how this world is a hot mess, how I have made a mess of everything in my life and how I am sure I can’t fix it. Then I would tell Him I could sure use a little grace. He would smile and say, “Son, I don’t do anything little, especially grace.” And then He would begin to pour it on. To borrow from Luke 6:38 where Jesus speaks about giving, the Book says, “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” It’s true about giving but it is also true when we need grace. It is what lavish looks like. So as soon as you can, go to “Five Guys.” Be sure and order small because you are going to get big. Order all the toppings you want on your burger, all the mix-ins you want in your shake and let them take care of the fries. You will leave amazed at their lavishness. But all that just pales to God’s amazing grace. Just walk up to the counter and tell Him what you need and get ready. He is going to pour—no, He is gonna dump— grace all over you. And, like grace, you are gonna be amazed. That’s why we can just sit back and rest in Him. With that kind of grace, you know He’s got this.