I just returned from a driving trip to Illinois. Yesterday, in the span of about two hours, I saw the following:
A woman driving with a child on her lap. The kid looked to be about two and, yes, there was an empty car seat in the back.
A motorcyclist weaving in and out of traffic on I-65, going well over 70 miles an hour (because I was driving 70 and he flew past me) with his helmet strapped to the back of his bike.
A young woman pumping gas into her car while smoking a cigarette.
I was tempted to walk over to the smoking gas pumper and kindly inform her that she was one tiny spark away from incinerating herself, her passengers, and probably the entire station, but two things stopped me. One, it’s printed plainly on the gas pump that you should never smoke while gassing up your car. (Everyone knows this, right?) And two, I just really didn’t want to get that close to someone who could explode any second.
As I was driving away (and watching in my rearview mirror just in case there was a big boom and a mushroom cloud), a verse of Scripture came to mind: “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.” (Proverbs 14:16)
Then another thought quickly followed.
What must God think when he observes the way we live our lives? I was appalled by the senseless behavior of three people. Three. How many times a day is God appalled? How many times a second is he appalled? Millions? Billions? (I probably contribute two or three reasons for him to shake his head and roll his eyes before lunch everyday!)
I don’t know who the first person to attach the word “amazing” to God’s grace was, but I doubt that a more perfect adjective could ever be found. With mountains and mountains of human sin and foolishness dropped at his feet every second of every day, God just keeps on loving mankind and forgiving those who know him as their Lord. And he even has grace left over! In 2 Corinthians 9:14 Paul speaks of the “overflowing” grace of God.
Amazing. Simply amazing.
For further reflection read 1 Timothy 1:12-14 and Titus 2:11-14.