Four months later, I received an envelope in the mail. It was addressed to Stephen Lutherland. Lutherland? Is that a theme park? The letter inside fell far short of bearing good tidings. It was from a claims management company demanding payment of $1,156.92. The vehicle I drove the day of the accident was a rental car. Apparently, the rental company was not satisfied with the amount received and sought further assessments covering loss of use, diminution of value, the hiring of staff to type the letter and lick the envelope and stick the stamp in the upper right hand corner of said envelope.
Long story short…my insurance company came to my rescue again, said I was not responsible for this claim and promised to handle this issue for me. In short, I should never have even received the letter. Still, this occurrence cost me a few days of uncertainty and stress and extra time to deal with it.
Satan operates like this. He knows our weak spots. He knows where we’re most vulnerable to guilt and despair…and he attacks. “You’re guilty. You’re a loser. You’ll pay for what you’ve done. There’s no way God will forgive you.” Which is exactly what we would expect from the father of lies. Martin Luther often spoke of fending off such attacks from Satan:
When I go to bed, the Devil is always waiting for me. When he begins to plague me, I give him this answer, “Devil, I must sleep. That’s God’s command: ‘Work by day. Sleep by night.’ So go away.” If that doesn’t work and he brings out a catalog of sins, I say, ‘Yes, old fellow, I know all about it. And I know some more you have overlooked. Here are a few extra. Put them down (too).”
When he felt especially pressed by Satan, Luther would throw at him 1 John 1:7 – “The blood of Jesus, (God’s) Son, purifies me from all sin.” Not one sin is unforgiven. Christ’s perfect, sinless life and innocent shed blood paid the price for every sin, and his resurrection from the dead exposes Satan’s jabs as lies and untruths.
How shall we respond to God’s continued grace to us, grace restored and illuminated through the Lutheran Reformation (503rd anniversary arrives in a month)? Let’s follow Paul’s example and offer enthusiastic praise: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.” (Romans 11:33-36)
We thank God for his love shown to us through his Son, Jesus. We praise God for his pure Word, kept intact and eternally powerful. May we and our fellow believers continue to proclaim his grace with generous praise!
God’s grace and peace be with you,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand