Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blind to Grace

Blind to Grace

“Therefore he said to his servants, ‘See, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.’ So Absalom's servants set the field on fire” (2 Samuel 14:30 – New American Standard Bible).

One of the times I was stopped for speeding, I got some kind of mad! I was mad at the state trooper. I was mad at my truck. I was mad at the road. I was just plain mad! The officer gave me a warning ticket. I WAS STILL MAD! I still can hear the conversation I was having with myself; “Why’d he have to go and ruin my day? Doesn’t this guy know that I have other places to be? Who does he think he is anyway? Here I am, in a rush, not bothering a soul, and he has to go and bug me! What a jerk!” Instead of being relieved at the break I had been given, all I could think of was how unfair it was that I had been stopped.

Absalom and I shared a common problem; we were too focused on ourselves rather than the grace we had been given.

In the Scripture above we, again, visit the life of Absalom. Let’s recap what has happened in his life to this point. He plots to murder his half-brother, and then has it done. He, knowing his wrong, flees. He lives away from his family until a friend of his father’s, Joab, talks King David into absolving Absalom from paying the full price of his crime. He is brought back to Jerusalem, and forgiven. There is, however, one stipulation; his father, King David, says he can come back without fear of prosecution, but his father will not see him face to face. So, here we are, Absalom is not happy about his situation. Who does he take his anger out on? He takes it out on the very person who had helped him; Joab!

Refusing to see the grace that had been given him, refusing to be thankful for the person who had helped him, refusing to move onwards and upwards, refusing to take this new chance and do something different Absalom reacts like a child. He can only see himself and his idea of what is fair and right. It reminds me of the WARNING ticket I was NOT thankful for. WHAAA! I can’t get MY way, so I’ll strike out at the very hand that helped me.

How many times, dear friend, do we do this to God? We know we are wrong. We know grace has been extended to us. We know we should count our blessings. We know all of this, but we shake our fist at God and sing the old Sinatra tune…”I did it my waaayyy!” Or should that be, “I WANT it my way.”

Think for a moment at some of those who have helped you, or have tried to. Be thankful that God has used such people in your life. Be thankful that He sends folks along to shed His grace on us, or point us to His grace. Don’t get mad and burn their fields down. Take stock of these moments. Look carefully at the grace God has gives you and I. Don’t be blind to grace like Absalom and me.

No comments: