On Grace and Truck Dents
But in the midst of all this, God has been incredibly gracious to us. First, He made sure that we were able to have the money to pay for the deductible on the car. Secondly, He sovereignly worked out the situation in our work and school schedules so that we would not have to rent a car (not to mention the fact that gas prices have dropped -- Do you know how much it costs to fill up a gas-guzzling truck twice a week?). And tonight we got a phone call from the man whose truck I backed into. I left a note on his windshield with my phone number and a brief apology and explanation of what I had done.
Now, before you think that I am some kind of saint for leaving a note, realize that it was difficult to do so. I had to fight the urge of my sinful nature to just drive off. Satan sweetly whispered in my ear, "No one is around, you don't have the money, and the guy will never know." Thankfully, the Holy Spirit filled my heart with an overwhelming sense of the fear of God. It was the right thing to do, so I begrudgingly tore a blank sheet of paper I had in my backpack in half, wrote the note, and stuck it under his windshield wiper, all the while secretly wishing (rather sinfully) that it would blow off or get misplaced by the owner. Later, sanity returned and I asked God for mercy, that He might grant the owner of the truck understanding so that we would be able to work something out, or that he or she might be independently wealthy and just cancel the debt.
Well, tonight the man who owned the truck called. When I answered the phone and he told me who he was, I felt like my father told me he did when his father would, days after a incident of misbehavior, remind him that it was time for the punishment -- a good, hard spanking. But to my surprise, he canceled the debt. He said, "the truck already had a dent on that side; you just pushed it in a little farther, so don't worry about it." He told me it was enough that I had placed the note on the truck. There would be no need to pay for the accident. As I struggled for words, I first said, "That is really gracious of you," but remembered that it was not grace he had given me; it was mercy. What I deserved was to be forced to pay for the damages, but he did not hold me to that. He mercifully cancelled the debt. Now, parallels to what Christ did for us abound here. I will not go into detail. But suffice to say that God is gracious to us, even in the midst of our sin.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
-- Romans 5:6-11