Once upon a time, there was a little boy who attended Sunday school.
He grew up and died. That’s the end of the story, and there is no happily ever after.
The rows and rows of faces, who were once happy little children in my Sunday school class, but grew up to be lost to addiction, accident, murder, abuse, and suicide, make me feel hopeless for the rest of them.
If I feel hopeless, what must the parents and grandparents feel who are watching their beloved children be consumed by sin?
It is as if each life is an old, rusting tractor that used to be new. We are watching as it idles and sputters and dies without being able to even take a look at the engine. We are crying out, “Isn’t there a mechanic who can fix this mess?”
There is. He has been at Sunday School too. He went with them when they rode the van home. He stood beside them as they inched away from Him. He warned them to come back…Come back!
He doesn’t just want to fix the mess they’re in. He wants to make them new again.
The Mechanic can walk up to an idling life and take a look at the engine. He knows exactly what the problem is. He doesn’t need a diagnostic machine. He doesn’t need to visit with their school counselors or therapists. He knows about sin. He knows about hurt. He knows.
This is where He turns around to you and me- hopeless onlookers. “I can fix this,” He says, “but it might be difficult for you to watch.”
Do what you must! You are the Mechanic.
He focuses His attention back on the old, dying tractor. He moves some wires and cranks some levers, and the engine fires up! How our hearts leap when it seems like the crisis in the young life we care about has been averted! Yes! Yes!
The Mechanic jumps in the driver’s seat and He rides for what seems like thirty glorious seconds, but then, we see that He purposefully idles the engine. What is He doing?! It idles and slows. It slows and sputters. It sputters and dies. No! Lord, No! What are you doing?
The tractor is inert. Smoke pours from the engine. We know it will never run again. We are hopeless.
But the Mechanic is not. Still, He sits in the driver’s seat. We must trust His justice. He has finished with wires, knobs, and levers. If we have hope enough yet to look up into His eyes, we will see that He has a different plan.
“We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.”
When we break eye contact with the Mechanic, we glance down at the tractor to see that it has not been mended, but it has been completely remade. It is new! It is not the old tub of junk, but it is a brand new machine, made for the single purpose of glorifying the One who made it.
The Good News is still good, and Jesus still brings life out of the ashes of death. Don’t lose hope. He is still at work.