Thursday, July 3, 2014

When You Wish You Didn’t 
 Posted by Sarah

“….But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”
- Romans 5:20

I was having a moment of “I wish I didn’t.” I wish I didn’t date him. Wish I didn’t go there. Wish I didn’t do that. Wish I knew that. Wish I knew Jesus sooner. Wish I could go back. 

But let me first tell you how this began. I came home from watching a movie called God’s Not Dead and was impressed by the love twenty-one year old actor/singer Shane Harper had for Jesus. So impressed that I decided to look up his story. On screen and in Facebook posts I saw a light that shined bright for God and was encouraged. That was until my admiration was washed away by a wave of shame and regret. A wave that reminded me my early twenties were gone and caught in this current, I wished to turn back time thinking, He’s only twenty-one and he has his whole life ahead of him. That was until my Savior rescued me with a single word: redemption. 

In the eyes of a loving God, my past wasn’t wasted. Each moment of shame and every passing regret had been covered by Jesus. In the New Living Translation, Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus disregarded the shame of the cross for the joy set before Him. That joy was me and it was you. It was the fact that He would forgive our sins past, present, and future, removing our shame and declaring on the cross, “It is finished!”, (John  19:30). Not only that, but my story can now be covered in grace. If grace means unearned favor (which means getting what I don’t deserve), than my history in the hands of Jesus can be something I praise God for because He forgave it. He tells me I can now move on because He wants to do something new in my life (Isaiah 43:18). When I live in grace, I can rejoice at what God did to my past and how He can turn it into something beautiful.

“Wish I didn’t’s” can be redeemed. If redeemed means bought back, then my past can be used for a good and for a purpose. For example, my past is redeemed when I see God’s hand in my past and stand in wonder of His mercy. It’s redeemed when I lovingly warn someone going down the wrong path. Or when I sympathize with someone who is going through what I went through. In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Every thread in life becomes a beautiful tapestry. 

So if you are wishing you didn’t, remember your story isn’t over. I know mine isn’t and time hasn’t passed me by. There is still time for wrongs to be made right. Discoveries to be made. New dreams to unfold. It’s not too late. In fact, Jesus tells us that He has good plans for us and future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Like Shane Harper, we too can shine bright for Christ and remember that God’s grace is bigger than our sin. 

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