If only I would have….or If only I wouldn’t have…. Ever wish life included a replay button, one that would let you not just review what happened, but give you opportunity to redo it? Well, I know something better.
Everyone born bears the distinguishing mark of being a sinner (Romans 3:23). We cannot live without messing up. We mess up in our relationships, our work, our pleasures. We make lousy decisions. We lose our way. The past cements our mistakes.
Once sin entered the world, all of life became a story of redemption. Sometimes I think we forget that. We fail, but rather than simply repenting, we try to become our own fixer-upper. Our attempts to repair whatever went wrong become our version of the redo. When it doesn’t work, we wallow in more guilt, drown in more regret. If not careful, we give up completely. We feel we’ve gone too far…beyond the reach of redemption. The addiction is too strong. The second chance came and went; there can’t be a third…or fourth.
I’m glad the story of the Prodigal Son exposes that lie (Luke 15). Jesus told the parable to let us know there is always room back at the table. Life can’t be redone…but it can be redeemed. Redemption has the power to “buy back” what we lost and declare a new beginning.
So don’t waste your time wishing you could redo your mistakes. Or redo your life for that matter. Just as the Prodigal laid it all before his father, so you can take your failures, fears and fiascoes to your Redeemer. He works in such a way that he is able to bring good out of the worst of your sins. You have a story to tell and your “mess-ups” (or others’ “mess-ups” against you) are an integral part of it.
In the words of Big Daddy Weave…. I am redeemed, You set me free / So I’ll shake off these heavy chains /Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be /I am redeemed, I’m redeemed.
Thank God…I’m redeemed.