By Maria Drayton
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39 NIV
I was sitting minding my own business. I left work not more than 2 minutes before and the traffic light had stopped me, so I idled in position and then I heard it. The loud screeching that seemed far at first but then seemed to get louder and then it happened, BOOM! It was my car that was being hit! I sat shocked. I hadn’t been moving at all, just sitting minding my own business!!!!
After the initial shock wore off, I got out of the car only to see a woman standing there also looking shocked. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, so I asked her, “What happened?” Instead of answering that question, she responded with, “I apologize.” I thought to myself, “You can’t even say, you’re sorry.”
While an apology is certainly warranted in a situation such as this, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Why? So I asked her, “Where is your insurance information?” She looked as if I were speaking a foreign language. “I don’t have any,” she responded.
That’s when everything in me seemed to flip out all at once. I’ll admit I didn’t have the Christian response that I had been practicing for the past year. When things hit the fan, I reverted right back to my old self. “What do you mean you don’t have any insurance?”
The police and ambulance eventually arrived on scene as car parts were swept from the street. Apparently, she hit me going approximately 35 miles per hour and could not stop in time because she had been on her cell phone.
By the next day, I had already filed a claim with my insurance company (since she did not have insurance that meant it would have to go to my policy to pay), been to the police station to get the release and police report and had my car towed to the repair facility. “I got this,” I thought to myself.
Then Monday came and I got the call from the insurance company. “Our adjuster took a look and appraised your damage to your vehicle to be a total loss.” I sat stunned and shocked again.
Tears began to well up as I thought about having to get a new car just one year after it was purchased. I had already lost work time, money and now my car! I even begged with the claims adjuster to reevaluate his decision.
Later that evening, I was sitting alone complaining to God and He began to deal with me. “How dare you act this way over a car? You could be laid up in a hospital bed unable to walk. You have made your car an idol in your life.” I hadn’t realized this, but He showed it to me.
“They worshipped their idols, which became a snare to them.” Psalm 106:36I had named her, Halle short for Hallelujah but that wasn’t enough. I even decided to get rhinestone license plate covers. I was out of control and didn’t know it. As I sat reflecting, tears began to fill my eyes. I was wrong. I had been wrong. But even in the midst of my idol worship, He still loved me enough to correct me. I was sorry. My complaining had become my repentance.
I was grateful for His grace. “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3: 11-12
In my reflection, I realized why her apology didn’t resonate with me. I myself had been taught never to say “I’m sorry” and only “apologize.” But now I realized with apologies there is no heartfelt remorse or repentance. It is simply a blanket statement without emotion or feeling attached.
In the end, I was able to have my insurance company pay for the total loss of my car and all I owed on the loan was $24. My complaining had changed to being grateful for His grace. Careful not to forget this lesson I named my new car, Grace.
Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that You love me enough to correct me. I was wrong and I’m sorry. Please help me to remain focused on You. Let me not focus on the things of this world that provide me nothing. You alone are my cup and portion. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2019 by Maria Drayton. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 07 March 2022.