Friday, September 18, 2015

A gentle reminder of the need for law and for grace

The other day a police officer jumped out in the road in front of me and waved me over.

I was so surprised that my immediate reaction was, "Me?  Is he looking at ME?"
I actually looked around thinking he couldn't possibly need ME to pull over.
I never get pulled haven't in a very long time, 
and the last time I actually received a ticket was nearly 30 years ago!

But I quickly switched lanes so I could turn right onto the street he was waving me over into.
He told me almost immediately that I was stopped for speeding.
Now honestly, that was not surprising because I really had no idea what the speed limit was on that service road, nor was I paying close attention as everyone around me was going the same speed as I
or faster.
Which is why they all got stopped too.

I meekly asked him what the limit actually was and when he told me "40," 
I immediately knew I deserved a ticket.
He told me all that information would be on the papers he brought back to me, 
and then he asked me to sign his fancy digital thingy.
As he was off doing his thing, checking out my license plate,
 and running my record no doubt,
I was feeling pretty embarrassed.
This guy and his partner were not sitting out 
in a conspicuous place along the highway 
with their radar guns.
They knew way before I got to their location that I had been speeding 
and then they had enough time to jump out in the road and stop us.
It wasn't even a chase.
If I had simply been obeying the law, they wouldn't have even noticed me.
I had gotten caught in a trap.

As I was waiting for him to write me up, I began dreading the whole process
of "contacting the court" and eventually paying a fine.
But then the most surprising thing of all happened.
He stuck his hand in my window and handed me my license and said,
"I'm letting you off with a warning.  Please slow down."

A warning?
Wow!!!  I totally deserved a ticket that time!!
I don't know what made him have mercy on me, but I honestly don't care!
I was just so relieved not to have all that hassle to go through and the ticket on my record!

I thanked him profusely and very carefully resumed my route.

Later, I began to think about all that, and it reminded me of a scripture that tells us
why we even need the laws:

"...On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the law;
for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, 'Thou shalt not covet.."
Romans 7:7

God created the law and gave it to us to reveal our sinful nature.
He loved us so much that He wanted us to know the truth....that He provided a way for us
to get out of the bondage of sin!!
So in his mercy He gave us His Son.
To bridge the gap between our sin and our Loving Heavenly Father.

"The Law came in so that transgression (sin) would increase; 
but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more....."
Romans 5:20

When that officer handed me my license instead of a ticket, he handed me grace.
He could've written me up.
I deserved it.
But he had mercy on me, and gave me grace.
Just like my Savior does every single day of my life.
I deserve eternal punishment for my sin nature.
I disobey Him every single day.
But yet "His mercies are new every morning."

Great is thy faithfulness.

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