Story of the Day for Monday January 16, 2012
Rescue From the Bog
“The grace of God . . . instructs us. . . to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.”
When kids go to summer camp one of their responsibilities is to plot mischief. You just know that someone is going to get a frog in their bed or the guys are going to raid the girl’s cabins and pull some sort of prank.
Let’s try to imagine this: as the kids wave good-bye to their parents and assemble in the cafeteria, the camp director spells out the rules. One of them is that must never leave the fenced camp boundary. “There are quicksand bogs on the adjoining property,” he warns them, “and it’s very dangerous.”
Off limits? Dangerous? For kids, this is an irresistible enticement. So, in the middle of the night a few boys sneak out of their cabin and climb the fence. Sure enough, there is quicksand out there. And they are stuck. Their struggling only mires them deeper. As they sink to their waists they finally cry out for help.
Eventually they see a flashlight bobbing their way and their sleepy-eyed counselor inspecting the damage. With a big sigh he says, “Didn’t we clearly warn you to stay on the camp property?”
And didn’t we tell you there were quicksand bogs out here?”
“Yes, we’re sorry.” By this time they are up to their chests in the quicksand.
“Well, I want you to know something,” the counselor says, “I forgive you.” And then he wishes them a good night and goes back to bed.
Can I ask you something? Do you think those boys would be satisfied with the response of their counselor? “Dude! Did you hear that? He forgives us! He’s not mad at us for breaking the rules. Awesome!”
This is not how the story ought to end, is it? But don’t you see that this is exactly how some believers view forgiveness? They think, “I like to sin, and God likes to forgive me and say it’s okay.”
When God forgives us it means that our sins have been taken care of. He’s not holding them against us. But (and here is the point, so listen up) God’s forgiveness means that he also wants to pull us out of the quicksand.
And isn’t that what we want? God’s forgiveness is not a free pass to jump the fence. But when we do jump the fence and get stuck in the bog, know this: Jesus not only will come to tell you he forgives you; he will also reach out his hand because he wants to rescue you from the bog.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)