Teenage Drivers and Lessons in Mercy
My 17-year-old daughter is now a driver. She's driving. In a car. Like, without me. In it. And my baby boy (he's 15, nearly 16 and about to get his permit...we'll bookmark this for later) gets in the car too and she drives him. I don't believe I've said the words "please be careful" more in my life. I feel like if I don't say it she's totally going to forget to be careful. Like there's magic in those words that will protect her as much as the seat belt, air bag and antilock brakes will.
So, homegirl gets her first ticket. Not for not being careful or reckless. She's perfect. Her tags were expired...like 6 months expired (but, again, let's bookmark that fact and get to the point).
So I take her to the courthouse to pay for her ticket. We tell her she'll have to pay for it. We know you didn't understand that the inspection sticker wasn't the registration sticker, but ultimately it's your car and you're in charge of your car. So we get to the courthouse, thinking it'll be about $200, and the clerk tells us it's just a $20 fee. We'd showed her the new registration sticker we'd just gotten and she says we're all good. All done. Record clean.
On the way back to the car, Rachel says, "Well, if something has to go on my record, I'm glad it's something simple like that."
My response, "Sweetie, didn't you hear what the lady said? You're all done! No record. All clean. This won't come up again." She was floored. And so relieved. My little rule-follower. The spiritual application was not lost on either of us. What a great visual of God's mercy- not getting what I deserve.
These past few months, I've been studying the life of Moses in Bible Study Fellowship. The life of Moses means Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. Ever read those? Rated "V" for violence. Going to church was pretty bloody stuff back then, what with all the sacrifices. God had set up the Israelites for generations with a system that could keep them perpetually pure.
So I'm reading through all of the sacrifices and rituals for stuff like picking up sticks on the Sabbath, for touching a dead body, what to do if you think your wife cheated on you, for when you get sick, for after you have a baby, for intentional sins, and for unintentional sins and on and on and on. And on and on.
It's a lot. And to me, reading about those things in 2015, some of it seems unreal. A little excessive. But it does remind me of how much God hates sin. How invested He is in me being holy as He is holy. And the words of Jesus, God's perfect Lamb, has taken on a whole new meaning.
"It is finished."
Not just his last breath. Not just his pain and suffering on the cross. The whole system is done. The final sacrifice has been made. Our debt is paid. You're forgiven. You can enter into His presence.
What a gift! God's grace and mercy.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16