Cruising through my neighborhood on the way to the store, life seemed so sublime until I spotted a hand-painted yard sign with black letters that read: “Your sin will find you out! Numbers 32:23” Whoa! I heard the celestial hammer come down with a thud. I thought I was on a road trip not a guilt trip!
Jarring, harsh and full of condemnation, the message “God is mad at you!” came through from those saints who forgot that they were once sinners too.
After shopping, I went home and looked up the Bible reference they cited. Surprisingly I found that this warning did not pertain to motorists passing by. In the Old Testament, Moses warned the tribes of Gad and Reuben not to settle into their new land without first helping their brothers fight to conquer the Promised Land. In context, God was actually warning His people not to sin by becoming complacent.
On that same busy street where the excoriating sign is displayed is a Walmart that is always packed with people. Some people loathe to shop at Walmart, but I enjoy it because I always find bargains there. This trip I scooped up some store-manager specials that saved me some deep-pocket savings.
I stepped into the check-out lane and a young Asian man rang up my order, taking extra time to bag my items carefully. Behind my order on the conveyor belt was a gallon of milk, a package of Oreo cookies and a package of Chips Ahoy cookies— my favorites!
I glanced at the couple behind me who decided to take their chances at Walmart for the sake of milk and cookies. The woman was mid-seventies, heavy-set and wearing old mismatched separates. The husband looked a little rough, unshaven with long stringy gray hair.
I made a quick mental estimation of them. “These people are just trying to take a break from whatever they are going through by coming out to buy their favorite comfort foods” I thought.
I turned to the sweet Asian cashier, pointed to the milk and cookies and said, “Please ring these items up on my bill and bag them separately.” The couple behind me looked shocked and thanked me several times.
“Please go have a party!” I said as I smiled and paid for their order. There you have it! Don’t be complacent in loving others. Do something to lighten someone’s heavy load. Lift their heart with some sudden kindness and help them find God, not run away from Him.
People may come to Walmart for more reasons than just shopping. Maybe it is an oasis for tired, lonely people. Walmart may feel festive and luxurious with all its products and activity. Or maybe they can get their junk food much cheaper there, I don’t know.
Here is the underlying spiritual dynamic that we need to understand. When people discover God’s goodness and intimate love for them, they don’t want to sin anymore. They want to clean up their lives in order to please God because it is so wonderful to know Him.
Looking up the word “find” during my research, I found many great reasons to respond to God:
Proverbs 3:4 says you will find favor and a good reputation. Matthew 11:29 says you will find rest for your soul. Hebrews 4:16 says you will find mercy and grace. And Matthew 16:25 says you will find eternal life.
All these reasons and more should convince us to offer God’s love and goodness to people we meet at every juncture. We need to lighten up and light the way for others to find Jesus, our Comforter and Friend.