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Merciful Father

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36 NIV


It happened on Friday, September 15, 1978, and I was driving home in the late afternoon. I nodded off for a few moments, and the car began to drift over the center line. I awoke when the car headed toward me started to honk. Startled and an inexperienced driver, I overcorrected the vehicle and lost control. I went over a ten-foot embankment and hit a concrete drain–of all places in front of our church.


As I was taken to the hospital, my thoughts weren't about myself and how fortunate I was to be alive–this was in the days before airbags–but on the fact I had totaled the family car. Lying in the emergency room, I wanted–but dreaded–the appearance of my parents. My first words to them were, "I'm sorry I wrecked the car." To which my Father replied, "The car can be replaced. We're happy you're okay." I wasn't scolded or punished in any way; instead, I was shown a parent's most extraordinary compassion and love.


How much more, though, does our Heavenly Father love us? We total our spiritual vehicles often and are met each time by his kindness and mercy. What makes it more amazing is sometimes we head out intending to wreck our cars! Even though we know we shouldn't, we point the car directly at the concrete drain of sin and put the pedal to the metal. When we end up in the ER, God walks through the doors showing us the same compassion and love.


Merciful and loving Father, thank you for the endless love you show to us. Whether we wreck our spiritual vehicles accidentally or intentionally, you offer empathy and kindness. We know we are unworthy of such love, yet by Your grace, you show us forgiveness and mercy. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


PS I remember the date clearly because I was going to my Grandparent Chambers's house to watch the Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks rematch. I didn't see the fight, but Ali won in 15 rounds.


I escaped the accident with a broken nose, black eyes, bruised knees, and whiplash. If you were to see the car, you would wonder why I wasn't killed. It was only by the hand of protection of our Heavenly Father.



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