I was setting off for the grocery the other day and backed through—not out of—the garage door. My routine was off. Ordinarily I step out of the house and into the garage, open the door, get in the truck, and back out. But I decided that it would be good to take the dog with me.
Since the dog is prone to run off, and I wasn’t in the mood to chase her, I didn’t open the garage door first; I was planning to do that after the dog got in the truck. This was a workable plan. I just forgot to execute the “open the garage door” step and the plan happened to have a low tolerance for missing that part.
Well, the dog isn’t smart enough to know that what occurred wasn’t standard procedure. Don’t all the masters gnash their teeth, hit their heads on steering wheel, and walk around the truck raising their arms up and down saying, “Oh no!”?
But Dianne knew better. She emerged from the house with her arms up in the air as well. “What happened? How did you do that?”
You know, those were tough questions to answer. “Well, dear, you’ll notice that the dog is in the front seat of the truck, along with the shopping list for the grocery store. And, well….”
It wasn’t the most graceful show I’ve put on in my life. After I had gone to the store, I pulled the garage door back inside the garage and went inside to sit on the patio and think. Nothing is really any worse for wear. There’s a dent in the door and the truck has a scratch on the fender, but all in all everything is fine. Trucks are supposed to have scratches on their fenders.
Dianne was in the house asleep and the dog was lying at my feet listening to whatever dogs listen to, but I was not fine. I had performed poorly. I wasn’t proud of Pres and didn’t feel very acceptable. But as I sat on the patio waiting for the adrenaline to clear out of my system so I could go to bed, my Heavenly Father began to remind me of how accepted I am.
How long has it been since you reminded yourself that there is nothing you can do that will make God accept you less?
And how long since you’ve reflected on the fact that there is nothing you can do to cause God to accept you more?
How long since you’ve buckled down and determined to accept yourself as God does?
God’s acceptance isn’t conditional or performance-based. He declared us accepted in Christ (Rom. 15:7) and makes no provision for changing His mind.
Backing through garage doors is hard on doors, trucks, and perspective but it has no effect on the fact of my acceptance. The Lord reminded me that everything was cool—including me. While the paint on the truck is scratched, my acceptance is untarnished because it is based upon my identity in Christ.
The challenge and reminder are both unmistakable: Line your perspective up with the Lord’s. Being an accepted person does not go up and down based upon whether the garage door does.