“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:28 ESV
I was enjoying a drive on the interstate heading to an appointment. Here in Illinois, there are not too many hills or curves. You can see ahead and behind for many miles. It is flat and straight when on I-55. I noticed in my rear view mirror a white car that had the appearance of a State Trooper approaching me. I checked my speed and gave myself a pat on the back for not having to tap the brakes just in case it was an officer of the law. As the car got closer, I realized I was right. The trooper rolled by me not going the speed limit but also not blazing by me at the speed of sound. A few moments later as he was roughly a few hundred yards ahead, all of the sudden a red SUV came by me at a pretty fast clip. It was obvious they had no idea about the white car in front of them. I was looking forward to what was coming next, in a not so brotherly love kind of way. I had never seen before what I was about to witness. Just as I saw the trooper behind me for a good distance, so the trooper, and I am sure his radar, saw the car moving up behind him. He did not wait for the car to pass him and then pull the car over. Instead as the car was quickly approaching him in the other lane, the trooper put on his lights. This was an impressive sign of authority as well as grace all in one action. As soon as the car saw the lights, the brake lights came on, and the car quickly fell behind the trooper acknowledging the warning. I was impressed. What I saw was an officer say, “Slow Down!” with a simple flick of a switch. That was enough and the flow of traffic enjoyed the rest of the drive at 70mph.
As I thought about what I witnessed, my mind went to all the times in my life when I was barreling down the interstate of life in a hurry not thinking about the speed limit. I had places to go, people to see, and things to do. How many times has God in His grace and His love for me flipped on His lights instead of waiting for me to blow by and get a ticket, cause an accident, or worse? I reflected on the times He has used His authority with His Word to say slow your roll or a message preached that caught my attention. I have had God use conversations with people who say something, and God says, “Do you see me? I am right ahead of you, and you need to listen to what they are saying.” These are moments of authority using grace to bring us back into sync with His plans for our lives and most of the time, His plans for our day. I do not think God wants to pull us over and give us tickets. He is not waiting in the medium hoping to catch you sinning. No, instead, in prayer, in reading His Word, and through hearing people speak, God can slow us down and bring us back safely behind Him to enjoy our day. He is more interested in His relationship with you being in harmony than catching you breaking laws. It’s called grace!
God’s grace is what we all need. His grace means we do not receive what we deserve. We deserve so much more punishment than we usually get from God. I am convinced that most of the time when we are still beating ourselves up for messing up, God has gone on and is waiting for us to join Him on the next adventure. Take some time and thank God for His grace. Thank Him for his warnings, His proverbial lights that wake us up from chaos and/or stupidity and begin to bring us back into sync with Him.