My family and I were driving back from a very fun family gathering with the cousins in Illinois. The kids were in the back and Rob and I were enjoying the time we had to talk uninterrupted (yes, those physically demanding toddler years do pass!). We were almost out of Illinois and heading into Kentucky when a brown blur suddenly crossed in front of our rented minivan. Out of the corner of my eye I saw four small pointy hooves flying over the front of the car. A sickening thud had preceded the poor animal's flight. I realized that we had just hit a deer going seventy miles an hour.
We pulled off at the next stop to survey the damage to the car. The grill was cracked as well as the bumper. Thankfully, the van drove as though nothing had happened. I made a quick call to my insurance company. Oh...it was a Sunday afternoon. The woman on the other end said, "My dear, don't worry about a thing. The animal ran in front of the vehicle. I am sure that this will go down as an accident out of your control. Let me see your coverage..."
I waited anxiously as she did a quick check on her computer. I could hear her fingers flying as the time became longer and longer since she had begun the review of my file. After a very long pause, she cleared her throat.
"Ma'am?" [was that pity I heard in her voice?]
"Yes...[hurry up, lady, and tell me why you are speaking to me that way!]"
"Ummm...I am sorry, but you only have liability on your vehicles. It seems they are both almost ten years old...is that right?"
"Yes, that's why we rented this minivan because they are not road worthy enough to be trusted to drive 1000 miles," I replied nervously.
"Well, umm..." she hesitated. "You'll need to talk to your agent tomorrow about what your options are."
My mind flashed back to when had I picked up the car. I had initialed next to several lines on the contract to signify that I had refused to take the offer to have the rental agency cover the vehicle should anything happen. Eighty extra dollars seemed like a lot to pay compared to the odds of ever really needing the coverage the agency offered. Why hadn't I just paid for it?
Visions of thousands of dollars [which, by the way, did not exist in the first place!] being exacted from our bank account filled my head. My thoughts were all in a panic. Lord, we do not have the money! Why didn't You stop that deer?? What are we going to do??
We drove home somberly the remaining 150 miles without hardly saying a word.
The next morning I called the rental car agency trying to formulate how I could plead my case. I told the woman on the phone exactly what had happened in every detail. I must have gone on and on because she suddenly interrupted me.
"Ma'am, hang on a second. I am going to make a phone call. Could you hold?"
After sixty seconds of horrible suspense, she got back on the phone.
"Just bring the minivan in. It's all taken care of."
Dead silence from me.
"Excuse me, I would really like to know how much it is going to cost to get this fixed."
"Nothing. You're covered. The credit card you paid with has given you the coverage. It will cost you nothing."
I stood there stunned, thankfulness oozing out of every pore in my body, as I said thank you and hung up the phone.
The Lord tenderly started speaking to my heart.
"Shawn, before you knew you needed a Savior, the price was already paid. The privilege of being my daughter is that you bring nothing to the table. I have done all the work through my Son, Jesus Christ, to enable you to be part of my family. This, my darling daughter, is an example of My grace. Undeserved, unearned. Belonging to Me has the most profound privileges you will ever experience."
My sisters, we belong to an awesome God. We belong to the One who watches over us so tenderly, who swooped in to pay the unfathomable debt our sin cost Jesus Christ on Calvary's cruel hill that we had no ability to pay.
Where else are we going to find such a Savior? Praise His holy Name!
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
Ephesians 2:1, 4-5