Have you ever run a red light? I did the other day. I was talking on the phone, hands free/Bluetooth equipped, and I came to an intersection with a green light. But as I was driving through it, making a left hand turn, I realized that the left turn arrow was still red. It was too late to stop, so through the red light I went, with a motorcycle policeman right behind me. I knew he was there because I had seen him before I ran the light. I knew I was had! Immediately, the red and blue lights were flashing behind me. I quickly pulled over and hung up the phone.
The police motorcycle pulled up to my window, and as I rolled it down, I exclaimed, “I’m so sorry!” He said, “Do you know what you just did?” I told him I did, that I realized it in the middle of the intersection. He said, “Do you know how dangerous that is?” I told him I did. He warned me to be careful, gave me a smile, and rode off. WOW! Was I relieved! When I called my friend back, she said she had been praying I wouldn’t get a ticket. Prayers answered!
As I thought about this experience, I wondered how many people say they are sorry when they get pulled over? I don’t have any idea, really, but maybe it’s not many. Maybe many are defensive, or angry. Maybe many are irritated to be delayed, or emotional. What should our response be when we have done wrong? I know I was grateful for not getting what I deserved. Doesn’t that make us think of Jesus? It is said that mercy is not getting what we deserve, and grace is getting what we don’t deserve. I had been shown mercy after breaking a law. But, would I have been shown the grace of being set free if I hadn’t repented? What if I hadn’t been willing to admit my mistake, and then been sorry for it? God’s grace is offered to those with a heart that turn to Jesus, knowing forgiveness is needed for our sins.
I wonder what would have happened had I responded differently when I rolled down my window to talk to the policeman? What if I had said, “What are you doing? I’m busy! I’m in a hurry! I can run a red light if I need to!” But instead, I had a contrite heart. I sought forgiveness. I knew I had done wrong, and I knew he had every right to punish me. But he didn’t. He did warn me, which our God will do. “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you...” Psalm 81:8 (NIV) How totally relieved we will be when we arrive in Heaven, face our Judge, and receive no punishment for our many sins because Jesus has already paid the penalty for them!
Searching And Noticing the Divine can be taking an earthly incident, and looking for the Divine lesson in it. This could have turned out differently for me. I could have still gotten a ticket, because I did break a law. But with our Lord, Jesus Christ, there is no doubt how it is going to turn out when we have repented, and called on His name to save us. The Father is going to say, “Your sins are forgiven.” There will be no tickets handed out in Heaven, ever, as long as we have our ticket called Salvation, to enter in. It is a ticket stamped with the blood of Jesus.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Psalm 51:17 (NIV)