Only a few posts left in the “What if … 10 ways to live well in today’s world” series. It’s funny, when I started planning it, I had no idea how chaotic June was going to be. I knew we had a few things on the calendar but I had no idea the level of craziness headed my direction. But, as God is prone to do, He has used each of these posts to point me back to Him and to His Word. I hope He is doing the same for you.
In case you’ve missed any of the posts, here is a recap:
- What if we do something instead of everything?
- What if we embrace good enough?
- What if we take a nap?
- What if we choose to be content?
- What if we pursue our passions?
- What if we give ourselves grace?
- What if we take off the masks?
We’ve explored some pretty real topics but today’s is one of the hardest for me —
What if we mess everything up?
I have to admit, I struggle with this one a lot. I’ve made some really bad decisions in my 43 years. I’ve hurt people I dearly love. The sins of my past continue to have very real and often difficult repercussions in my life today.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1995, I was rushed to the emergency room via ambulance. A few hours earlier I had begun swallowing one Valium every 15 minutes with the desire to end my life. I was broken and desperate. I looked around and could only see the mess I had made, the ways I had failed, the pain I had brought into the lives of people I loved.
Thankfully, people who loved me were there and ready to help me. I spent time in counseling and began the healing process. In the 20 years since, I have learned so many important lessons about who I am in Christ.
Some of the verses I have memorized to help me remember these truths include:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1b
Verses like these remind me I am not the sum of my actions. My value isn’t measured in what I do. Rather, I am precious to the God of all creation. I am made in His image and my worth is ascribed to my by Him.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I look around and back, all I can see is what I’ve messed up. The enemy points out my failures and flaws. It becomes easy for me to think I’m too far gone … that there is no way for the Father to use me.
But that is a lie! I cannot mess things up so much God cannot restore. I cannot destroy so much God cannot repair. And I cannot move beyond His reach and His love.
I don’t know your story and you don’t know all of mine. But that really doesn’t matter because the Author of every story sees the hurts and regrets and pain and sorrow. Like the father of the prodigal, He is watching and sees us even when we are far away. He runs to meet us and lavishes upon us every blessing of being His child.
Whatever your situation, whatever your past, my prayer today is that you’d know this truth: You are loved and treasured by the Lord. When you look around and can only see the mess, He looks down and offers grace.
Sometimes we mess it all up. Sometimes we think it’s far worse than it really is. And sometimes we don’t even realize how big the mess we’ve made is. But in all of those situations, God is present and He is ready to work every situation for our good and for His glory. We are simply called to walk in faith and trust Him.
When have you felt like you’ve messed everything up? How did God meet you there?