Free! Free! Free!

My wife and I were standing in the guest bedroom/office when we heard a loud bang. There were thunderstorms in the forecast, so at first we thought, “Wow!” that was really loud thunder. Then we looked out the window, and there in the driveway was the tree service company truck dumping ten years of mulch in front of the garage. I ran to the door and outside began waving my arms, “No! No! We didn’t order this load!” The driver was perplexed, he had a work order in his hand telling him to bring this truckload of wood chips to our address. And there was the pile, right on the blacktop, and he without a shovel.

Last week I wrote that we had ordered and received ONE load of free mulch, and that it had taken me two days to place it where needed and that the job was done. Now we had one more load of free mulch, when we already had all we needed. So I made a sign and stuck it in the pile, offering this free gift to my neighbors. My wife gave me her patented raised-eyebrow skeptic look. I even put out my big scoop shovel for use by whoever might come.

And they did come. One couple with a plastic-lined SUV made several trips. Then another couple came with a small trailer attached to their Ford Fiesta. They filled it several times. In two days not one wood chip was left.

Got me thinking about God’s grace. In the book of Ephesians, Paul the Apostle writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV). When God pours out His grace on you, He doesn’t stop until you’re filled, and then he pours out even more. The idea is that we should share this bountiful grace with others, not keep it to ourselves. We have been forgiven, adopted, and promised an eternal life with God that is beyond even our highest longings. For free. Jesus picked up the tab.

What always puzzles me is why anyone would refuse this free gift. Why would anyone be upset with me because I want to tell them about this free gift? Why would anyone not want to be unbound from sin and guilt and and death at absolutely no cost to them? Why is it easier to share mulch than to share the Gospel? Maybe I need a bigger sign; maybe I need to be more bold. You want grace? It’s free. Just ask God.

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