My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Knowing that I’d recently been stopped for speeding, a good friend of mine sent me an e-mail that said, “If you MUST speed on the highway, sing these hymns loudly.”
At 45 mph… God Will Take Care of Me.
At 55 mph… Guide Me, O Great Jehovah.
At 65 mph… Nearer My God to Thee.
At 75 mph…Nearer Still Nearer.
At 85 mph… This World is Not My Home.
At 95 mph… Lord, I’m Coming Home.
At 100 mph… Precious Memories.
Well I was zipping along the Interstate doing somewhere between “Near Still Nearer” and “This World Is Not My Home” when the speed zone changed from “Nearer My God to Thee” to “Guide Me, O Great Jehovah.”
Right at that critical juncture where the speed limit changed from 65 to 55 sat a highway patrolman.
Since I’d already passed every car in front of me, I was first in line to get caught. A quick glance in the rear view mirror confirmed what I already knew. The “blue light special” was turning around to track me down.
He didn’t have to go far. I pulled off to the side and waited for him with window rolled down, driver’s license in hand, and confession on my lips.
He strode silently to my car and peered down at me through sunglasses so dark I couldn’t see his eyes. But before he could open his mouth, I said, “I’m sorry officer. I was speeding.”
You see, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).
“Did you know you were doing 76 in a 55 mile zone?” he asked.
“Yes sir, I did,” I said.
“Where are you going in such a hurry?”
“I’ve got a meeting on the 237 exit at 3:00,” I explained.
“What kind of a meeting?”
“A business meeting,” I said.
“What kind of business?” he asked and continued to ask another question for every answer I gave until he was satisfied that I wasn’t a hardened criminal.
Then he asked for my insurance card and returned to his car while I turned to God.
Lord, thank You for slowing me down for I know I was driving too fast. And Lord, I know I don’t deserve it, but please don’t let him give me a ticket. My husband will kill me, and this one will break the bank.
The officer appeared at my window again. Sternly he spoke his verdict.
“I’m issuing you my good deed for the day,” he said, “but you slow down now, you hear?”
“Yes Sir, I will,” I said.
Thank You, Lord. I’m humbled by your grace.
I drove to my exit thinking about grace — God’s unmerited favor. I had been stopped for breaking the law and deserved to be punished except for grace. And the faster I drove, the more grace God applied.
Romans 5:20 says it best. “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
Why? Because, “[We] are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). And God’s grace is sufficient.
Jesus told the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Paul responded, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Surely Christ’s power rested on me as I sat in a position of weakness on the side of the road under the authority of an arresting officer. But how, you might ask, do I know that my instant confession and submissive attitude toward the officer aren’t what saved me from a ticket?
Because, “It is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6).
So, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16) even when we’re caught speeding.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your grace, Your unmerited favor. We can’t earn it, and we don’t deserve it, but it’s there for all who accept it. Turn our hearts to You to receive Your gift of grace.