Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

something to help you laugh and think about life with Christ

swim pit — July 8, 2020

swim pit

I guess we get what we deserve! 

It was a sweltering summer day and our gang of kids was griping that no one had a swimming pool.  So, somebody said, “Hey let’s just build one!  “Cool” we said.  But, “Who’s yard will we dig it in? 

They told me to ask my dad.  I almost wet myself at the thought and Steve’s mom would throw a hissy fit.  But Tommy, well his mother was a single mom and she worked full time.  Perfect!  We could dig while she was away.  Tommy said she never went into the yard anyhow. 

Monday, we gathered our hardware, went to Tommy’s and began to excavate.  There was a bunch of us, so dirt was flying every which way. 

We worked most of the day and had a pretty good-sized pit to show for it.  Tuesday, we decided that we kinda dug, digging. Wednesday, we made plans for a diving board.   

By Friday the pit was about 2 feet deep with maybe an 8-foot diameter.  We amazed ourselves.

We planned to finish it the next week – but then came Saturday.   That’s when Tommy’s mom used her weekend respite to clean the house.  She took the trash to the alley.  On the way, she stumbled onto, or maybe it was into our pool.

She made some blistering calls to our parents – and our audacious aquatic plans were sunk.

Worse – We were ordered to return to the scene of the crime on Monday and fill in what had become an abyss.  “Why?” we asked.  “It’s what you deserve!” they said!

What a summer bummer. The sun was furiously hot and the labor exceptionally meaningless as we back filled our pointless pit.

I guess we really do get what we deserve! 

The toddler gets flicked on the hand when he defies mom.  The school kid flunks the test when he fails to study.  The teen that abuses his phone, loses his phone.  The collegian that cheats is expelled.  The young man loses his license for his third DWI.  The young lady gets an STD because of promiscuous sex and so on.  Sometimes the consequences are not immediate, they seem to catch us later.

Even the Scripture echoes the theme. 

Paul the apostle charged us when he wrote, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23) All Paul?  Absolutely.  We have all missed the mark and usually more than once. 

Again, says Paul, “The wages of sin is death.”  (Romans 6:23)   It was his way of saying, “If you do the crime, you do the time.”  The justness of God requires a person to satisfy the law when they break it.  He requires a death sentence – an eternal, infernal death sentence. 

We get what we deserve!  – With only one blessed exception.

The apostle Peter put it this way, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death.”  – 1 Peter 3:18NET Bible ®

Jesus stepped between us and the wrathful judgment of God – the just for the unjust – to bury our sins and to bring us to God.  Jesus took what we deserve.  How disturbing and yet comforting.

Time never seemed to erase the scar we left in Tommy’s backyard.  The site of our former swimming hole was filled with dirt, but it settled in lumpy and uneven ways.  It sported more weeds than grass.  It was a lawn mower no-man’s land – a nasty place in the yard.  And that’s kind what it looks like when we attempt to self-atone for our moral mistakes. 

With Jesus it’s different.  The Scripture says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18   When Jesus does His work, we end up way better off than we were before – new on the inside. 

So, will you face eternity knowing that you will get exactly what you deserve OR will you step aside and allow Jesus to bear your burden?   Pick up a Bible, find the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16 to find out how!

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