Tuesday I had the privilege of driving home from the airport in a slush storm (many of you may have been out in similar stuff). I hadn’t gotten more than a few minutes from the airport when the lights of a police car flashed a warning ahead. As I got closer, the cop car was sticking into the road at an angle, trying to protect a car jutting into the right lane after having spun out. As I moved over into the far left lane, a huge pickup truck was riding my tail, so as soon as I safely could, I pulled back into the right lane. The pickup floored the gas and flew past me, only to be surprised by another car that had spun out on the left side of the highway and was now jutting into the left lane. The pickup veered into my lane just ahead of me to avoid the car.
I proceeded to count one more accident and four more spinouts between the airport and home. Perhaps folks think that, because it’s April, the timeframe for spinning out on roadways has expired. But freezing precipitation is the same in April as it is in January. Going too fast in it garners the same results in April as it does in February. And although some who drove precariously did escape the ditch and tow truck, I believe that if they continue to disregard the law of physics, their day of wishing they had Triple A will arrive.
The same is true of sin. Regardless of the time of year, or whom we are with, or against whom we sin--whether a sin of omission or commission--sin will eventually throw us off God’s course. And unless sin is repented of, it does not have an expiration date. Sins we are aware that we have committed remain with us until we repent of them. God doesn’t “cut us a break” because that sin we committed four years ago happened four years ago. We may wonder, “Why bother to even bring that old sin up with God?” Well, maybe because we only became aware recently that what we did four years ago is a sin. Or maybe we’ve known all along it is a sin but out of shame, embarrassment or pain have avoided bringing it to the throne of God. It’s never too late to deal with past sin through repentance.
The Bible mentions in several places, including here in Psalm 103:8, that “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” His timing regarding our transgressions is unique for each of us. Some of us will go along, speeding in the freezing rain of sin seemingly unscathed for months or years. For others, God will put the brake on particular sin immediately, bringing us to an abrupt reality check the moment we try to outwit Him. It isn’t for us to say, “That’s not fair” or to bristle at God’s wisdom.
God is God and we’re not and if we’re smart, we’ll get with His program regarding sin, because those freebie joyrides down icy roads won’t last forever! Sooner or later, we’re bound to spin out.
“I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live.” Ezekiel 20:11
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.’” Hebrews 12:4-6