My son recently earned his driver’s license and I now have four drivers in my house. Everyone has jobs and classes and practices to get to on a daily basis. Sometimes there are not enough vehicles to make it work, so lately, we have been borrowing my father-in-laws Buick. It’s been nice because it isn’t covered in rust like my cars. The seats are leather, the heater heats and it runs great. But, I recently realized my favorite virtue. The gas gauge works.
A working gas gauge may seem like a minor luxury, but it is major blessing. The car that I usually drive doesn’t have a functioning gas gauge. You never know how much fuel you have in the tank. So, I am left to try and remember the last time that I filled up the tank and how much driving I’ve done since in order to estimate my need for gas. It is a regular ritual to interrogate my wife in hopes that she remembers the last time we put gas in the car. It gets old and it gets stressful. Am I going to make it to work? If I run out of gas, who can I call for help? How long a walk is it to the closest gas station? What’s the wind chill out? Ahhhhh.
I took an inordinate amount of pleasure in the gas gauge on full because I knew exactly where I stood. I didn’t have to guess. I knew that I had plenty of gas and therefore, I didn’t have to stress over an icy walk to the gas station. I was able to enjoy a stress free drive to work. No worries, just peace. I started to think about how the same can be true spiritually.
As followers of Christ, we ought to enjoy confidence in the salvation that Jesus has purchased for us, but we can still get caught up in worry over where we stand with God. Most of the time I feel like I am failing as a Christian. I’m not disciplined enough. I sin too much. I am way too hesitant to share the gospel. So, where do I stand? Is God disappointed in me? Have I blown it one too many times? When I reveled in the full gas gauge, God encouraged me with the reality that Jesus came full of grace and ready to give it to me.
John 1:14-17 says “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
This doesn’t mean that we live unconcerned with sin. Romans 6:1-4 tells us that is bad thinking. We are called and enabled to live holy lives. It simply means that when we fall short in our efforts to obey God or make change in our lives, we don’t have to give in to worry. God still loves us. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are still available. And so we get up and try again. The tank is full of grace. Keep following. Keep trusting. Enjoy peace.
“Grace be with you all” Titus 3:15