Suddenly he heard a noise behind him. He turned quickly—and saw Grandpa’s new car moving slowly toward him! Somehow he hadn’t set the brake properly, and now the car was rolling toward the lake! Doug grabbed the door handle as the car went past and dug his heels into the sand. He might as well have been a mouse
trying to stop an elephant.
    Did you know that Chevys float—at least for awhile? The car’s momentum carried it out into the lake. With red taillights burning and the radio still playing, the car looked like a miniature ocean liner. Before long it turned end up, like the Titanic, and disappeared gracefully
beneath the water. All was dark and still.
    It was a long walk home, and Doug wasn’t eager to get there. How do you tell your grandfather that you have just sunk his new car in the lake? How does someone punish a kid for sinking his car?
    Doug reluctantly woke up his grandpa. “Grandpa, I need to tell you something about your car . . .”
    Doug says he will never forget what happened after he told his sad tale. Grandpa just lay there quietly for a while. Then he said calmly, “Doug, I’m glad you weren’t hurt. You had better go and get some rest now.”
    Doug recalls, “The foolish mistake I had made would cost this man a great deal of time and money. I deserved punishment, but Grandpa didn’t even lose his temper. I was totally, hopelessly, inexcusably negligent. Yet, incredibly, I was treated with love, forgiveness, and understanding. That night my grandpa showed me something about grace. He showed me something of God.”
    That’s exactly how God treats us! If God treated us with justice, every sin would result in death. But because Jesus took our punishment, we are spared what we deserve. God responds to our accidents with grace. “For it is by grace you have been saved, . . . it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).