July 21, 2011
... I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Jonah 4:2b
We live in a world of technology.
It is a world where on the products we buy we increasingly see labels which read, "NO USER SERVICABLE PARTS INSIDE." That is just another way of saying, "You don't have the tools, the smarts or the capability of fixing anything here, so if it breaks, bring it to the experts."
I can't be sure, but it may be an accumulated frustration with this technological society that caused western Arizona's Lauriano Lawrence Lovato to do what he did.
And what did he do?
On April 13th Lovato went out to his car, a Camaro. Now normally Camaros are good vehicles, but Lovato's Camaro wouldn't start. Lovato tried all the tricks he knew to make that car start, but it just wouldn't go. Frustrated, furious and angry, Lovato got out his gun. Maybe he just meant to threaten his Camaro into starting. Maybe he drew his gun with malice in mind. Either way, Lovato fired two shots through the windshield and into the dashboard of his vehicle.
For his action, Lovato has been given 90 days in jail. As for the Camaro, it's expected to live.
Now those of you who have been blessed with an even temper may expect me to condemn this man's angry actions. And I do. On the other hand, having had a lawn mower which gave me blisters before it would even start, I can certainly understand why Lovato got angry.
It is also why I give thanks to the Lord for being "slow to anger" and "abounding in steadfast love."
You see, most of us who compose the human race are pretty much like that non-starting Camaro and lawnmower. As St. Paul said "the things we ought to do, we don't." Day after day, year after year we sinners don't do as the Lord wishes.
And how does the Lord react to our ongoing disobedience?
Although He is just and punishes unforgiven sin, the Lord remains slow to anger. He has, in His steadfast love sent His Son into this world. Here Jesus lived His life fulfilling the commandments we had broken, resisting the temptations which have tripped us up. In short, He lived, died and rose so we might be saved.
Now, all who are given faith in the Savior know they have forgiveness for the wrong they have done and the good they have left undone. Along with that forgiveness they hold fast to the sure and certain promise that the day will come when the Lord will take His believing children to heaven.
It is not what Lovato would have done if he had been in control of the universe. It is not what I would have done. But it is what God did. It is what He did because He is gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, every day I sin much. For all that I have done wrong, I am sincerely sorry. With a repentant heart, I give thanks that You have been gracious to me and sent Your Son to live, die and rise for me. May I, this day, try to do better. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries