When I look back on my life’s journey as a believer and as a mother, I cannot say that I don’t have regrets. I cannot say that I don’t sometimes wish I could have done things differently; sometimes I wish I had seized upon opportunities given to me if I hadn’t been so fearful or self-doubting.
I believe every one of us has felt this way in some measure whether over failed relationships, hurts, lapses or misses. Some of us probably find ourselves down in the dumps and filled with despair as we recall the times we feel we excluded God in the equation and got things quite wrong.
One conversation many years ago, which I had with my older daughter was precisely about how to view the messes and brokenness in our lives. I asked her if she had wished things were different for her. Her answer surprised me and encouraged me. She said “No regrets.” She had learnt from her mistakes and about the consequences of her choices and that it was what she needed to grow up. I thanked God for His grace and mercy poured out on her.
During the recent LENT JOURNEY 101 which the church ran, a small group of men and women participated in an intensive 6-week programme, exploring blocks and issues in our lives that prevented us from moving forward in our life of faith. Opening up to share was like digging into old wounds. They were painful, uncomfortable, stressful and sometimes even scary. But it led to greater self-knowledge which is important in the healing process. It helps us bring the gaps and unmet needs to God, who alone can fulfil. It helps us recognise the futility of filling the gaps, needs, aches and longings with other things. These things may meet our needs for a short while, but only God can meet our deep needs infinitely. I thank God again for His grace and mercy that led to breakthrough for some of our participants.
The Bible’s account of Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well was one of the longest one-on-one chats recorded in scripture (John 4:5-42). Jesus’ questions uncovered many truths which the woman needed to come to terms with about herself. In a conversation which took twists and turns, Jesus’ revealed Himself as the living water. The revelation — “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:26) sent the woman rushing back to her hometown. Bursting, she told her neighbours, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29). The woman, who before the encounter was cloaked in shame, and thirsty for real friendship, found unconditional acceptance in Jesus. That freed her to testify what Christ had done for her in their close encounter. I thank God again for showing His grace and mercy to the weak and broken.
When you go through difficult times, remember that Jesus’ invitation is always to come to Him. Whatever mess, trial or suffering we may be going through, truly only God can turn them into something beautiful.
Only God can turn a MESS into a MESSAGE…
A TEST into a TESTIMONY…
A TRIAL into a TRIUMPH…
A VICTIM into a VICTORY
Have you turned to Jesus in your hour of need? He says: “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
By Har Lee John, Pastoral Staff (YCKC Bulletin 13&14 May 2017)