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Over and Over


The tension was building. Both sides were getting a little shorter. Something had to give. Suddenly things went really bad for the team with the ball and one kid yelled, ‘Do over!’ Thus, with that announcement, the kids unofficial rule book for backyard sports allowed the team who just had a bad play try it again and no one could say otherwise.

The young mom had a rough night, and it was enough to get her motivated to get her few belongings and her three-month-old baby girl and get in the car. She didn’t know where she was going but it didn’t matter as long as it wasn’t here. She needed to start over completely.

They say death and taxes are the only two absolutes in life, but I would add the fact that you can’t go back in life as a third absolute. I don’t know how many times I wanted to ‘do over’ those mistakes I’ve made. I can’t count how often I just wanted to start over in life. If only… But time is fixed and cannot be manipulated. When we act it is for good and can’t be undone. The decisions we make take us somewhere and once we arrive at that destination we can’t just start over. We must live with our actions and decisions and for many that is not easy.

As Believers, what do we do when we have that pit in our gut that lets us know we acted wrongly or decided poorly? How do we move on knowing we can’t do it over nor can we start over? Yes, we could run from our mistakes or try to get a clean slate somehow, but they are only band aids and never really remove the pit in our guts. Is there any hope?

Here is the good news that is inherent with the Gospel of Grace- God wasn’t surprised by your actions and decisions and already formulated a plan based on our choices. He knew when we would mess up- when we would decide poorly. He knew when we would reach a point of total frustration and regret. He saw it all go down and did what only He could do- work it for His glory and benefit:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Rom 8:28

Often, we see that verse and think things will work out just the way we want or need but that is not what this verse states. It states it works out for HIS purpose. But when we love Him, we understand that His purpose is what our purpose should be. We start to line up with His will and suddenly things do work out for our good because our good is HIS good. The key is maturing in our faith to the point we don’t seek ‘do overs’ and ‘start overs’ but ‘His will overs.’ His will over our will, over our mistakes, over our bad decisions. We begin to view our life through His grace and don’t let regret and frustration keep us from staying the course. Certainly, this doesn’t mean we are ok with our mistakes and decisions, but they don’t stop us from seeking God’s plan and purpose. We begin to see His grace is so great that He can use our shortcomings and failures for His purpose and that is incredible when you ponder it.

The next time you have that desire to start over or do something over, just reflect on the mighty God of grace we have and realize His grace is sufficient:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Cor 12:9

When we are weak… He is strong! He loves to show us just how much grace He has and just how much He can do with one of His children when they just trust His plan, even in our failure.

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