We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You. Jeremiah 14:20
That was the temperature inside the Indiana Ford SUV. On a day of record heat, it didn't take too long for that vehicle to become an unbearable oven for the 16-month-old little girl, who had been left there by her mother. The toddler suffered a seizure before she was taken to the hospital. The last report I was able to find says the child had been upgraded to a stable condition.
On the same day, at almost the same time, a man left his three-month-old daughter in his car for a relatively long period of time. His child was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Although the figure is assumed to be on the small side, this year ten children have died because they were left unattended in a vehicle. That's ten deaths that were completely preventable.
Although I have no way of knowing, I assume none of these parents or caretakers set out to make their little ones suffer or die. Indeed, I have to believe almost all of these cases are the result of somebody in a position of responsibility forgetting a very simple rule.
I can understand the pain those parents and caregivers must feel. I can understand because, over 30 years ago, Pam and I left our son Kurt at a Michigan fruit stand. Thinking he was in another car we got 20 miles down the road before we discovered our mistake.
The fear of that day and what might have happened remains with us still. Now it's not likely that you've done something as bad as that; but I'm sure all of our Daily Devotion readers have done something wrong. Look closely, you'll remember.
Truly, we are sinners and as sinners it is right and proper we come before the Lord to acknowledge our wickedness and confess our sins.
But it is also right that we should hear the Lord tell us we are forgiven. Because of the life and death sacrifice made by the risen Redeemer, there is forgiveness for all we have done wrong, including those very special, very memorable, stomach-churning transgressions.
Nobody understood that truth better than did the apostle Paul.
By God's grace, the man who had once been a murderer was called, forgiven and transformed into a powerful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Looking back years later, he made this confession and statement of comfort: "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost (sinner), Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life" (1Timothy 1:15-16).
It is my prayer that you will, like St. Paul, rejoice in the forgiveness Christ has won to take away your sins ... especially those about which you are most troubled.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I confess my sins and rejoice in the forgiveness Your sacrifice has won. May I live as a forgiven child of God and bring glory to Your Name. It is in that holy Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries