2 Corinthians 13:7-10
7 Now we pray to God that you do nothing wrong, not that we may appear to pass the test, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear to fail.
As I wandered on the side of the freeway under the overpass looking around, all I saw were half-empty bottles of Seagramís whisky and other alcohol that had probably been disposed of the night before by the looks of it by people who had frantically tossed them over the freeway overpass, out of their cars to avoid being caught with an open container of alcohol in their vehicles.
I started to walk around under the overpass, and I was looking at the scattered rubbish and the containers, which were scattered around, I noticed the bottle I had thrown there the day before. The bottle which had gotten me so intoxicated.
I couldnít help but think what a waste of my life and poor judgment I had exercised drinking and driving, and what if Iíd gotten caught driving while intoxicated. What if I had got into a terrible car accident. What if I had hit and killed someone. What If Iíd flown through the window into oncoming traffic because Iíd failed to wear my seat belt. What if Iíd died like that. What if. .
Yet, I tried to figure out what was wrong with me. Today was a different day, bright , sunny, and new. As I walked around under the overpass, my eyes stayed fixed on the bottle I had put there. I felt so stupid, and careless. I couldnít help but to imagine what would happen if Iíd went looking for the first highway patrol officer I could find and admitted that Iíd been driving around carelessly and completely inebriated the night before, showing him the empty bottle Iíd had and how Iíd tossed it out there with the others. What would happen?
Letís see, he might possibly recommend that I see a shrink, and refer me to a psychiatric unit at a hospital facility. He could possibly take me to the local county jail, and have me placed in the holding tank until a judge could decide what to do about my admitted wrong doing the day before.
Or, he could warn me, and advise me of the dangers of drinking and driving, possibly recommend that I get some help, and write me a ticket, without arresting me.
But in the end, the outcome would obviously be a lot different than If I was caught driving while intoxicated red-handed.
I couldnít help but to consider a similar scenario , and wonder about the many times that I have ran the red light of Godís mercy, driving in the fast lane of sin with my hand wrapped around a half -empty bottle of confusion.
What would God say the next day after I had made the wrong choice of committing a sin, found me walking around under the overpass of life agonizing over my failure to keep His will.
What would make more sense? To continue looking at the brown bag which represented my failure, and stay under the overpass of life, or to come out from under there, get Godís attention, and tell Him what I did wrong, how stupid Iíd been and how sorry I was about it all.
What would be His decision? He could forgive me. He could offer me help, he could penalize me greatly for my lack of better judgment. What would God do. .
His word says in the book of 1 John 1:8-9; 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If God were the Highway Patrol officer on the highway of sin, pulling over sinners and locking them up for their wrongdoing, It would be best to "flag Him down," ask for His mercy, His pardon, His help when we make a mistake, and by His grace and mercy, to get back in our cars and find that highway of righteousness where sobriety point checks are not necessary.
If youíve found yourself more than once standing on the side of the freeway, under the overpass of life, looking in your brown paper bag of sin and shame and overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and discouragement, there is good news for you.
In the Book of Hebrews 4: 14-16 we find these comforting words; 14 Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens--Jesus the Son of God--let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
In Verse 11 of this Book of Hebrews, we also find these words of exhortation. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.
Godís grace liberates us from the worst pits of life we find ourselves in at times. We have to be willing to ask Him for it, and believe in His transforming power to make us whole again.