I am not a big fan of tabloids or magazines highlighting stories of the rich and famous being rich and famous. I do bump into them at the checkout counter at the grocery store, hair salons, and an occasional mention at the end of a newscast on a slow news day.
When I see the cover story or if I happen to glance at the contents, I discover that Solomon was right. There really IS nothing new under the sun. Romances today blow apart and are often thrown out before the ink on the marriage certificate dries and although the reasons vary, the most common reoccurring issue appears to be unfaithfulness. Every scheme imaginable to get rich without hard work ultimately gets exposed. Truth hijacks every lie.
Mistakes happen. Everyone agrees on that even if our own are harder to admit. Men and women (each and all of us) are mistake prone in every area of our lives whether in relationships, academic or professional areas, or even in the kitchen when that “foolproof” recipe flops just as the doorbell rings and company arrives.
Some mistakes are bigger than others for certain. How others respond to our mistakes is pivotal. How we respond to our mistakes varies, but can make all the difference.
If our mistakes are met with understanding, instruction, or second chances and we own them, we tend to recover despite our disappointment and embarrassment. If our mistakes are met with disdain, anger, and harangue, we either lash back or withdraw into ourselves.
By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have had more than a little experience with mistakes. Our response to them has likely shaped our view of other people in all sorts of positions as well as ourselves and perhaps God. We have either gained courage or grown or we have never risked again and remained stuck.
It can be easy to feel betrayed when we mess up. That sense might come from how a relationship changes or dissolves, whether it is a personal one or a work-related one. It might also come from us toward ourselves for failing to give as much time, attention, and care to the person or thing that the mistake involved.
If we admit we are guilty as charged, we often still cannot regain what was lost. We have broken trust and that does not get easily repaired.
It would be nice if God kept us from making mistakes and messing things up, but you and I both know it doesn’t work that way. We have choices and from Adam and Eve onward, we have a timeline that shows our choices may very well take us down a path that leads to a bad ending.
I love stories and reading the Bible provides me with some of the best stories ever written.
Time and again I see a mistake is made. What kind of mistake? Take your pick.
Abram and Sarai can’t have children, but have been promised too many heirs to count. Time goes by and they aren’t getting any younger so they decide not to wait and help the process along. Sarai has her maid sleep with Abram and Ishmael is the result. Their impatience doesn’t change God’s plan to give them a child of their own that will be His own special people, but it does result in two sets of offspring whose differences are still at war today.
David, the giant killer, the one called a “man after God’s own heart”, the one who praises and trusts God, becomes king of Israel. He is blessed with wives, children, and a kingdom, but one day he sees a beauty bathing on a rooftop and wants one more thing. He summons her to his bedroom and arranges for her husband to be killed. You know the story. The first baby born of this unfaithfulness dies.
The incredible truth is that God is committed to us and working through us. He stays with us in the midst of chaos, wreckage, dishonor, and disgrace. He was from the very beginning an expert at creating something out of nothing; moving from void to substance, dust to flesh.
God knows how to make something incredible happen on the other side of our mess, our mistake.
He does so in spite of us if we yield to His mercy and grace, if we yield to His ever-pursuing love.
He can make all things new even for those of us who make mistakes and messes after we know and seek to follow Him. He weeps and aches over our failures and we should never take His mercy and grace for granted. But we should never believe the lies that may echo in our heads that His love can cease for us when we fail. His commitment is everlasting.
The Lord is the lover who refuses to be jilted by us. He is a lover like no other.