Even those of us who appear to be so well put together make mistakes. It's easy to think you're the only one. But you're not. That's why you must learn to lean on God's grace.
I recall how thankful I was for the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester.
When I was in college, inevitably, I would sign up for a course and realize after a few classes that it was a bad fit.
When it became clear that I made a mistake in choosing, I didn’t need to panic.
As long as I was still inside that drop/add grace period, I could dump the course with no penalty. I didn’t have to pay for it. I wouldn’t need to be concerned with failing.
This would free me up to get rid of that weight and if I wished to, replace the dropped class with something better.
One time, during sophomore year, I registered for a science course thinking it sounded interesting. When I arrived in the lecture hall, from the first day, I knew it wasn’t for me.
There were far too many requirements for a passing grade for this class to fit comfortably into my already crammed schedule.
The obligations were just unrealistic in my then situation.
I knew I had bitten off way more than I could chew in the first place. I had to get real about my capacity and stop working to do more than I could reasonably accomplish.
Who needs to hear that?
Quite honestly, I was pushing myself too hard to earn credits quickly. I was overdoing it.
When I snapped back to reality and regained my senses, I was so happy I had the option to rearrange my schedule, omitting the troublesome course as if it never existed in my schedule. I washed my hands completely of it.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that in life?
How much easier would things be if, when we exceeded our capacity, made a foolish error or jumbled up our plans, we could get an instant do-over?
I’m sure there are a few things you would enjoy just dropping and moving forward with no repercussions, right?
We all would be ecstatic if it were possible to turn back the hands of time and undo our mistakes with one click, similar to the way we can in a Microsoft Word program.
Have you ever made a big blunder spiritually, financially, in a relationship, in your health or some other area of your life and wished you could change it?
We all have.
So then, you know how it feels to “kick yourself” and say, Man, I really messed that up.
Yeah, me too.
What I have learned in my life is, even though you don’t always get out of the self-made mess unscathed, God’s grace is yet available to you to see you through it.
There have been seasons where I was attempting to do the right thing the wrong way and ended up in bad shape.
I knew I wasn't alone.
Although we do have to deal with the consequences of our actions, at the same time, there is grace for our mistakes. God doesn’t hold our poor decisions over our heads and beat us down with condemnation.
Unfortunately, people do that sometimes. They never let you live down an error. They are quick to get all judgmental and self-righteous, trying to get the speck out of your eye with a big old log hanging out of their own (Matthew 7:5).
But God is not like man. He is rich in mercy, compassion and forgiveness.
He knows you and I can’t turn back the clock and redo what is already done. So thanks be to God, from the silliest to the most serious error, the Lord is merciful just the same.
Perhaps you are suffering through some setbacks and struggles that are products of your own doing. If so, ask forgiveness, receive God’s mercy, seek Him for wisdom and do better going forward.
You may be struggling to crucify your flesh in some way. Maybe you need to be more patient and less impulsive; more disciplined and less apathetic; more spiritually minded and less carnally minded.
Each of us ought be working on these areas anyway. After all, it is a constant battle. As Paul said in Romans 7:21, "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me."
Whatever your hang-up, Jesus was already hung up for it. His blood covers all. We just have to look to him for redemption, restoration and guidance.
That’s His message to you today.
He is saying "Look to Me."
He is not interested in raking you over the coals and causing you to wallow in condemnation over your shortcomings.
Rather, He desires to restore you back to wholeness and lead, and guide You to a better way.
He loves you, despite your missteps.
Friend, our Heavenly Father will give you the strength, grace and fortitude necessary to overcome challenges, setbacks, misfortunes and struggles. By His power, you can pick up the pieces of your shattered life, even if your own hands broke them in the first place.
Glory to His name.
He loves us all unconditionally and will extend His mercy toward us whenever we are in need of it—whatever we are going through.
So don't be cast down. Look to God.
To encourage you, I’m stirring Lamentations 3:19-23 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says:
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
When you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be reminded that God knows about every error, misjudgment and mistake. And He has enough grace to cover every single one of them.
He is faithful to love, forgive and restore you.
As you own up to your hand in life’s messes, God will place His hand in your messes and turn them into messages.
I know He will.
He's done that for me.
Now, let’s pray.
God, thank You for your compassion, love and mercy through every season of my life. Today, I acknowledge my shortcomings and faults, and look to You for the grace I need to right every wrong. In advance, I praise You for the turnaround as I walk hand in hand with You, the One who makes all things new. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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