I never thought God could use a trip to Seattle to teach me a lesson about grace.
A few years ago I had a meeting in Seattle, Washington. I arrived in Seattle on a Monday night around 11pm. I was weary from a long day and ready to check into my room at the Holiday Inn express. It’s not my hotel of choice, but it’s where my meeting was being held early the next morning. Like is or not, it’s where I was staying. Or so I thought…..
The nice people behind the counter at the hotel kindly informed me that all of the rain they recently had damaged a number of their rooms and I was going to be “walked to the Hilton.” The next thing I know, I am given directions to my next destination. When I walked into the lobby, it was pretty clear that this was certainly not the Holiday Inn. From the valet parking at the front door, to the lobby big enough to land a plane in, as the man behind the counter said
“wow, this is quite an upgrade from the Holiday Inn.”
When I finally got to my room, the square footage of the room seemed to be larger than my house, robes in the closet, Starbucks coffee on the counter, even a telephone next to the toilet in the bathroom. This is the kind of place you see in movies and never dream of paying for. I was like a grown up version of the kid from Home Alone. The most amazing part came in the morning when I got my bill. It literally read $0.00. That’s right. No charge. Free. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The Holiday Inn had paid the bill in full.
You probably see what I am getting at here. Isn’t that something like the grace we have been given by God?
I had a debt to pay. A large debt. I did not earn this place. There was nothing I did, could have done, or will do to ever have made that possible. Someone else paid my price. All I needed to do was gladly accept the offer, and follow the directions to get there. Even though my original plans were “damaged,” someone had noted my situation and provided a better way.
That alone would have been worth it all. But remarkably, they also paid my price in full.
We all have a debt of sin that we need to deal with. We all need someone to pay the debt for our sins. There is nothing we can do to earn the payment that needs to be paid. All we need to do is to accept the payment for our sin that Jesus Christ made for us on the Cross of Calvary. It was free… no charge. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It was this free gift that allowed you and I the ability to have our sins forgiven. All we have to do is accept this free gift of Salvation.
Now that really is, as they say, Amazing Grace.