Sometimes we feel we’ve made so many mistakes in our lives that it’s too late for us to fix them. We feel we can’t ask forgiveness of God, our family or our old friends.
Have you spent time regretting the many opportunities to ask forgiveness you have missed? Have relationships been broken even when you could have mended a hurt? Has selfishness eaten up many happy times you could have enjoyed with someone else?
God can give us release from these thoughts: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:1-2 – NIV). If God can make desert and parched land into blossoms, he can do the same for our mistakes. When God restores wasted time, he will use it for his glory.
Mending Our Past
There are three choices we can make to begin the wonderful process of God’s restoration of our past:
- Tell the Lord all of what is wrong and remembered. Ask for forgiveness and help. Nothing is too hard for him (Genesis 18:14). God’s assistance will begin immediately in ways we probably never thought about.
- Take steps to be obedient to God. This may mean, for example, getting more education, being accountable to a person we admire or taking responsibility for our actions. The Holy Spirit tells us what we need to do.
- Never give up, but spend time with the Lord in scriptures and prayer.
If you have wasted money, begin asking God how that can be corrected. Sometimes we only need common sense to solve our problems. God will find someone to come alongside to show us where the answers lie.
If you have not been a good parent, begin now. Perhaps the children are grown, with families of their own. It isn’t too late. One father who had never paid attention to his children began to do so when the grandchildren came. He took his daughter and son to lunch, became interested in their lives and found a whole new world.
Because of bad eating habits, we may not be healthy. We can learn what our bodies lack and begin to build the best health we’ve ever had. The Lord says, he will repay us for the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25).
Let God Show the Way
We may have other habits that have plagued us for years. A young man had tried everything to quit smoking. He felt led to join a group of men in his church who met regularly together. Several of them agreed to contact this young man regularly, including at work, just asking, How is it going? Are you okay? Just know we are praying for you. That young man has been living smoke-free for many weeks. God showed the way.
God has given all of us at least one gift—and usually more. If we’ve withheld this from him, we can now begin to use it. We can find out what our gifts are from prayer, friends and knowing ourselves through what we love to do. We can polish and practice that gift for God’s glory.
Moses was in his 80s when God used him to lead the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. He spent 40 years in the desert. God said Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3) When we are humble, we allow the Lord to work in our lives and on our behalf.
We don’t have to worry about our past; Jesus will give us a second chance to do what is right. No matter what we wish we could have changed; he will make it all count for good as we start to make wise choices. All we need do, to be a part of it, is be willing for it to happen and to be obedient.
Author: Joan Martin