While in Carthage yesterday, a huge Avalanche pulled out from a gas pump and plowed right into the side of my little Ford Ranger. Crazy as it is, this is the third time I've been hit by another car!
The first two times I flipped out, started crying...worrying about what my dad would say or how we would pay for the damage (the insurance of the other guy never fully covers this stuff). I can honestly say I was reacting in my flesh: I was not depending on the Holy Spirit to lead me in truth, but reacted on my own.
Yesterday was different.
I began my morning with the Lord and He really spoke to me through a Psalm. By the time I was hit, I was just rejoicing in the Lord! Though I was hit by a car, I found myself being thankful in my situation! I was thanking God first and foremost that it wasn't my fault! Also, that I was okay. He gave me an amazing peace and calm assurance. I can definitely say I took claim to His promise:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
After the cop filed the police report and I was driving away (knowing full well this guy was completely at fault), God began laying something else on my heart.
I've been learning a lot about what forgiveness really means...not just from God, but also to others. As I was driving, God really layed that on my heart. I felt the strong desire to forgive this guy. Not that I was upset at him, but to REALLY forgive him.
I decided that I wanted to write him a letter with the estimate of getting my car fixed, to not turn it into the insurance company, and to pay it myself. Yeah, it was his fault. True, the law says his insurance must pay to have my car fixed. Yes, I don't have to pay for it.
However, Christ died for my sins. It was my fault. I should have paid that debt. And yet, I don't have to pay for it. I want this man to know that. I want him to know that even though he deserves to pay for my car to be fixed, he has been completely forgiven for more than what he deserves. I want him to know and experience in a physical manner the forgiveness Christ offers him.
My father is thinking about whether he's going to let me pay for it or turn it into the insurance company. We'll see what happens...ultimately, I will submit to my father and do as he desires, but I also want this man to know that kind of forgiveness, and if paying to fix my truck would help him understand God's forgiveness of what he owes...than it's worth it, by golly.