I was traveling with a friend down the west coast. We got in our car in Eugene, Oregon and had set our sights on reaching Mendicino later that night. We drove through the Redwoods and the Avenue of the Giants and were about to run out of gas. For those of you who know me well, you know that is too common an occurance in my life. I like to press on, keep going and push to get to a particular destination. This drive was no different.
We were almost on the Giant E and found ourselves coasting down the freeway looking for signs for gas. The car once filled with laughter, dance moves and chatter was quiet and there was the slightest edge of anxiety. Were we going to make it?
We tried every trick in the book to keep going. We put the car in neutral and coasted, we prayed, we talked nicely to the famished car and somehow, in some way we made it to a gas station with time to spare!
We arrived at the station, laughing and thanking God for getting us there. I do think God’s grace kept us from running out. But it was grace in all kinds of ways. Really, I made choices that kept me from making it to the station on time. I made the choice not to get gas earlier. I made the choice to turn down gas because I wanted to find something cheaper. I made those choices and because of it, I was left in a potential lurch. I was left nearly stranded in the middle of the Redwood forest in northern California and this is no place for one to be left! God didn’t lead me to the point of disaster. In fact, I led me there.
I use that story to remind me that God’s grace doesn’t just cover us when we make perfect choices. He doesn’t only rescue when we’ve done everything right and the world is against us. His grace meets us in the midst of our pour decisions and pulls us out and at times He walks through the consequences of the bad decision with us. But His grace is there, just as He is.
My friend and I laugh about that story still to this day. We still thank God for getting us out of the mess and I’m regularly reminded to check my gas gauge!
Have you experienced the lavish grace of God in your life? Share a story with us!