I set off the alarm at church a couple weeks ago. It was awful. I unlocked the door, ready to punch in the code, which I did. But, it was the wrong code. The blinking red light indicated as much. And, so, I punched the wrong code in again. And again. Beads of sweat formed on my brow as I realized that my time in which to get it right before the alarm went off was dwindling. But I persisted. The same numbers over and over. The same wrong numbers over and over. And then, I ran out of time. The alarm shrieked at a decibel-level that, I am sure, sent wild dogs howling. I dashed to the phone and called in my mistake, giving not only my address and phone number, but my full name and a description of what I had done wrong. The gentleman with whom I spoke was so polite. Kind. Gentle. Forgiving. He turned off the alarm and those wild dogs and I returned with relief.
As the now-silenced shriek continued to resonate as a dull whoosh-whoosh-whooshing sound in my ears, I was struck by it all. There I was, trying to enter the code. My mistake was met first by a blinking red light, indicating that something was wrong. But, I persisted, knowing full well that it must be the light that was wrong, not I. Punch. Blink. Punch. Blink. Punch. Shriek! The sound of the alarm not only halted my punching, but sent me running to the phone, and, eventually, to read the words on the keypad that told me what I had been doing wrong; what I should have done. This was followed by the conversation with the gentleman from the alarm company who graciously walked me through what I should have done and then helped me to correct it. Our conversation ended with my apology and his forgiveness and his setting things right again.
Isn’t that so like our Heavenly Father? We are heading down a path of destruction and He gives us a warning. We continue until we take notice of His “noisier” warning. We run to His word for guidance. Talk with Him and repent of our mistake. He forgives and sets all things right again. Praise be to the One whose alarming grace is sufficient for us!
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. (Ephesians 1:7)
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)