Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
I had no idea. I never saw it coming. When I woke on that Wednesday morning, I had no idea that something as dramatic as an automobile accident was going to occur. In fact, up to the point of impact everything was routine and then just like that, it changed. Now keep in my mind, in the world of accidents, mine was, well, minor. No one was hurt and that was the most important thing. But regardless, it was a big deal. It was the kind of deal that leaves a person scarred and wiser.
That accident at that corner happened 16 years ago and yet to this day, I never approach it without thinking about that day. I always, and I mean always, look both ways several times…just to be sure. Yes, the big trees and bushy bushes that obscured my vision that day are long gone but the memories are not. They are my constant companion next to me in the driver’s seat and they whisper…be careful. That is not a bad thing, as long as they are whispering and not shouting.
Perhaps there is an “accident” in your past that has left you a little scarred and a little wiser. The important thing is to make sure it stays in the past, forgiven, and is only invited in your present to whisper a wise word or two. The lessons of the past can help us not make the same mistake in our todays, but, don’t let them own you.
Two more lessons came from that Wednesday “Closer Encounter of the Ouch Kind.” I learned that little things can take down big things. The other driver was driving a much smaller car, a Honda Accord.” I, on the other hand, was driving a Pontiac Grand Prix. Logic would say that I would win the day but amazingly my car was totaled, and she was able to drive her car away from the scene. How is that possible? She was the one who delivered the punch and fate determined where. She hit me right at the door post of the driver’s side door. It was a critical area that bent the firewall and a bunch of other things that weren’t supposed to be bent. Bottom line? It was a knock-out punch.
An important lesson was reenforced in my life that day. Smaller things can cause massive damage to bigger things. It is true with cars, but it is also true of things like reputations, character, and life. It is important that we guard our heart and minds and keep the things that matter well-guarded and safe. Remember the words written by the wisest man ever to live, King Solomon. He said we need to catch the little foxes that ruin the vines. You see, ruined vines, don’t produce grapes and a ruined character takes a long time to recover.
Oh, and there was one more very important lesson from that day. The accident was my fault but there were some extenuating circumstances. The big trees and bushy bushes really shouldn’t have been there and later they were removed. But in my hand remained the ticket that said, “This was your fault.” The police office apologized for having to write the ticket but it all still said, “It was your fault.” But then an amazing thing happened. Someone heard about the accident and the ticket and extended…grace. Though I was technically in the wrong, they also knew the circumstances and the ticket was dismissed and the fine removed. Grace.
Paul talked a lot about grace in the New Testament part of the Bible but perhaps he said it best in a letter he wrote to the Christians in Rome. He said, “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” In other words, because of Jesus, the guilt and penalty for their sins, for our sins, can be removed. And ,it doesn’t happen because we earn it, it happens because He loves us. You see, if we will believe in who Jesus was and trust what He did…the charges and penalty can be removed. We can be declared, “Not guilty.” How about that?
You may or may not have an “oops” on your driving record, but we all have plenty of oops as we travel the highways of life. It is good to know that there is Someone who has the power and the authority to extend grace—unmerited favor. His name is Jesus, and He is waiting to help us. No matter how obvious, no matter how big, you need to know, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne