Indebted

It was quite warm the other day so I turned on the air conditioning mainly to see if it was going to work this summer. I won’t even try to keep you in suspense — my younger daughter and I walked out of the house to pick up the older daughter and she said, “Mommy, why is there smoke over there?” Ack! Turn off the AC!

The AC was installed sometime, I think, between primordial ooze and the last ice age. Even so, that didn’t mean I wanted to replace it this week. I was hoping we could wait a wee bit longer before the moment arrived, but the time was now and we replaced both the AC and heating in one fell swoop. Cha-ching.

Oh and my daughter needs braces. And that needs to happen super soon-ish because of mouth structure, blah, blah, blah compensating for her bite blah, blah, blah. Cha-ching.

Last month, we had to replace the radiator in one of the cars. Right before that, we had replaced brakes in the other car. Cha-ching. Cha-ching. Just for the record, our “good” car has over 185,000 miles on it. Looking forward to another cha-ching or two in that area.

If it weren’t for the fact that my brother-in-law didn’t charge us for the work he just did on our bathroom that had been waiting for a fix for the last three or four years, I’d be sobbing in a puddle of tears right now.

Truthfully, I’m still closer to tears than I want to be. I had just been starting to feel a dash of freedom with our finances. I thought maybe, possibly, hopefully, we could do something fun this summer. Or maybe, possibly, hopefully I could fix up some of the smaller things in the home that have been waiting and waiting and waiting for a pick-me-up. The getting the whole new AC/heat thing kind of put a damper on those hopes and dreams. I’m pulling money out of every orifice I can find just to make it to the next paycheck.

Here’s the thing, though, that gets on my last nerve about all of this—as soon as we make good progress paying down our debt, and growing our savings, everything starts exploding and falling to pieces. Up goes the credit card balance, down goes the savings. Every single time. It NEVER fails. Never.

The debt is just not ever going to stop or go away, unless somebody hands over a boatload, or maybe even a cargo ship full, of cash without expecting any repayment. It seems there is no hope for us to ever get out from under this burden no matter what we do. It doesn’t matter how frugal we are. It doesn’t matter how responsibly we spend our money. It doesn’t matter how much we work. It just never goes away. There are tastes of freedom along the way—enough to let hope rise, but when we think we’re about to break free, something in our world goes boom again.

This is so much like the work of sin in our lives. It doesn’t matter what we do, how nice we are, how good, or how hard we work, somehow we can never completely break free from its death grip. There are moments of freedom, but as soon as you think you’re making progress in some area, 50 other things lower the boom somewhere else.

Sin is a burden that is paid for by death and it has loaned out its “fun” or “help” on credit. However, one day sooner than we expect, it will demand payment plus interest in full. It will offer no mercy upon collection. There is simply no way for us to pay off the debt we owe.

Except. There is.

Someone has paid for the price of our sin. Someone has covered our debt so that we can forever escape its death sentence. Even if we screw up terribly and more things we can imagine go wrong, the payment never runs out. He still has the cost covered. With His love. By His blood. His name is Jesus. All we have to do is say yes to His covering our cost.

…He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2: 13b-14 NAS

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