So – apparently I’m a lot more rebellious than I thought.
I was driving to meet a friend at Starbucks for our usual time of catching up and trying to figure out all the mysteries of life, and apparently didn’t realize how anxious I was to get there. So, flashing lights behind me, I pull over, sighing and blaming my husband for frustrating me and ‘making me drive fast’ because I was frustrated.
And so the usual question – do you know why I pulled you over, etc., etc, and may I see your license and registration. So, I give him my id and then scramble in the glove compartment for the most recent insurance card. Sure enough, it’s not there, but he offers to take the expired card and look it up on his computer. So, more ammo to throw at my husband – i call him, make sure he know that I’ve been pulled over, and that it’s his fault that I don’t have the current insurance information (that he confirms is sitting at his desk at home).
Then, as i wait on the officer to come back, it hits me. I totally deserve this. I don’t have any excuses. I was speeding – I broke the law, and I was getting what I deserved. And on top of that, in the way that the Holy Spirit can be so untimely :), He brings to mind the passage about receiving the measure of mercy that I give out.
“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” James 2:12-13
And I think – oh man, am I in trouble! I had A LOT of opportunities before i left home to be merciful with my husband, to give him a break and realize most of my attitude was because I was just in a bad mood, not because of some things that he had forgotten to do lately. And so I’m thinking – here it comes. Big ticket heading my way with my name on it.
And then the officer comes up, and brings it to my attention that my license has been expired for almost a year – and did i realize that. I’m freaking out inside, not even sure what they do for that type of thing, all the while trying to stay composed in front of the officer. He asks if someone is home that can come get me. I explain that my husband and I only have one car and that he’s at home carless. But I do mention my friend that I was on my way to meet, and he encourages me to call her. So, totally loosing it as he walks back to his car, I call my dear, sweet friend, balling my eyes out, telling her that they’re coming to take me away and she needs to be here! 🙂 So, she says she’ll be right there.
And then – totally unexpectedly, the officer comes back, and tells me the verdict. Instead of giving me a ticket for driving without a license (which I guess they can do since it’s been expired for so long), he just gives me a ticket for an expired license, and a warning for the speeding. He asks me to stay there until my friend gets there, and he leaves.
And I totally didn’t get what I deserved! And then it hit me, again, in the way that God’s grace just flows, that I don’t get what I deserve every single day. I don’t deserve God’s grace and mercy, but He extends it from the cross 2000 years ago to me today. I don’t deserve the blessings in my life, and yet it continually pours out His love and blessings on me. And I have the nerve to withhold mercy from the man that i love most in my life (besides Jesus) – just who do I think I am? How can I lose sight of this and go about my life, complaining because I don’t get things my way. PRAISE GOD I DON’T GET THINGS MY WAY! Because my way, what i deserve, is death.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” -Romans 12:1-2
So, yeah – I’m a lot more rebellious than I thought – I was breaking about 5 laws without even trying – and didn’t recognize my need for mercy. And how often do I go about life like that – not realizing my need for mercy, and not realizing just how much each day I break more and more of God’s laws, His perfect standard of holiness. Praise God for Jesus Christ, my Savior, Who took my place so that I could become Righteous (rightly related) to God!