Have you ever painstakingly set a lovely table only to see the dog jump up on it and start licking the turkey? Is the day ruined? Do you scream bloody murder, beat the dog, and sink into a puddle of disastrously dashed dreams?
Or it is possible you could wash off the turkey and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes? I mean really, we don’t have to let things get destroyed. We can fix what we can fix and we can enjoy the rest of the meal. Why let those lovely mashed potatoes go to waste? Why let the perfectly seasoned stuffing for which you chopped onions and celery for an hour be spoiled? And what about the lovely cranberry sauce that only makes one sensational appearance a year? Does it have to be trashed too?
I say, wash off the turkey and keep going. Crap happens. Such is life. We don’t have to let it conquer us.
God has mercy on us, shouldn’t we have mercy on ourselves? God gives us second chances, why don’t we extend that grace to ourselves? I think we beat ourselves up far more than our loving Heavenly Father ever does or would. Jesus already died for our sins, He doesn’t need to punish us to make His point.
But what we do have to do is repent and accept His forgiveness… even if we know we don’t deserve it. And let’s face it, we really don’t deserve it. But the good news is, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.
He is faithful, even when we’re not. He is there when the dog licks the turkey. He is there when we drop the gravy boat and it shatters and we drop a verbal bomb. He is there when we burn the biscuits.
He is always there, lovingly picking us up and pushing us along, making our crooked way straight and wrapping us in His tender mercy. He doesn’t throw us out when we mess up, let’s try doing it His way.
I have a question: We want God to have mercy on us when we screw up, right? Why don’t we want Him to have mercy on others, especially those who hurt us? Why do we want bad things to come to them? Why do we refuse to see the fact that God loves those people the same as He loves us, and He’s not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9)?
Revenge is human nature, it’s very difficult to break free from the desire to see it land on our enemies’ heads. And somehow we think we must be God’s favorite and He will spare us and gather us into His loving forgiveness, but we are just sure that He’s closed His arms to others, others that we deem unforgivable.
This is just not so.
If I try to count up all the times that I have messed up, I’d be here all week. And do you know how many of those times God has forgiven me? All of them; all that I’ve repented of and asked forgiveness for, that is. And even when I don’t realize what I’ve done, I know that God’s goodness and mercy have followed me around, cleaning up my messes. Psalm 23:6 promises me that. So why do we find it hard to imagine that God does that for others too? God loves His children, all of them. He is rich in mercy and loving-kindness. We should be too.
I stumbled upon an online forum where people were talking about a shared experience from years ago. The forum could have been a place where they reminisce about funny things and easier times, but sadly it gave many the opportunity to simply prove themselves bitter and stuck in the past.
God isn’t in the business of going backwards, He is always in forward motion. He has plans for us, He has a future and a hope for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He doesn’t live in the past. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). How can we fulfill God’s plans for our lives if we can’t get out of the past? We must accept God’s mercy for ourselves, we must show God’s mercy to others, and we must get on with life!