“I was walking down West Hawthorne yesterday on my way to the hardware store,” Stan began, “and there was a car going the wrong direction on the one-way street.”
“Did he run into anyone?” I asked.
“No, I was able to get his attention. I waved my arms at him and he pulled over. Just then a big truck zoomed by, narrowly missing him.”
“Wow!” I exclaimed. “That was a blessing you were kind enough to get his attention.”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “it was fortunate. It could have ended differently.”
Continuing, he added, “This is not unlike how the apostle Paul described God’s view about warning us when we are going the wrong way.”
“In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome,” Stan replied, “he says that it’s the kindness of God that leads to repentance. And, as you know, repentance is all about turning around when we are going in the wrong direction.”
“Making the necessary u-turns,” I replied.
“Exactly,” Stan said. “Stop going in the wrong direction, turn around, and get headed in the way that God has for me to go.”
“Does God always wave His arms to warn you?”
“Not always,” Stan replied, “but He will when His other warnings aren’t sufficient to get my attention. If, for example, I ignore His other more gentle warnings, God will do whatever He needs to do in order to get my attention. If that means He has to wave His arms at me, He will.”
“And,” he concluded, “it’s all out of his loving kindness because He doesn’t want me to be heading in the wrong direction away from the way He has for me to go! Neither the wrong direction when I step into eternity nor the wrong direction while He keeps me here!”
Bible verses to consider:
The kindness of God leads to repentance. Romans 2:4.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with your repentance. Matthew 3:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your love and kindness in wanting me to repent and to turn around and go the direction you have for me to go. Thank you for the repentance that leads to the assurance of spending eternity in your presence when life here is done. And thank you for the repentance that leads me to go in the direction you intend while I remain here. I confess that too often I do not listen to your voice that tells me to repent, but I thank you that you will do whatever is necessary to get my attention. Please help me in my repentance. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Repentance is the essential step that is to follow confession. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? What does repentance mean to you? Can you relate to the mental image of God waving His arms at you to get your attention? Have you ever experienced something like that kind of warning? If so, did you heed the warning? What happened? What could have happened?