For big mistakes
You’ve seen them sitting on the shelf at the store, but did they ever make you wonder? After all, you have some BIG mistakes in your own life. Or at least I do. The eraser works well when erasing our mistaken pencil marks. But it would be even better if that, or some kind of BIG eraser could do supernatural things. Is there an eraser out there that is capable of cleaning us up to where we should be? There is, but it doesn’t look like the picture you may have seen above.
Let me begin my story by saying this: God speaks in and through ordinary things all of the time.
I have a red school planner. A cheap one. It is definitely worn, but it still holds together. As a very serious student, that little planner means a whole lot to me. I can write down the assignments I need to work on at home and not forget them. The days are dated. In fact, if you open it up there are two pages to contain an entire weeks’ worth of school work. The only thing I have to add to the product is a list of subjects each day to organize my work.
All was going well until Tuesday. Well, I guess one day of success isn’t that great, but that’s alright. That day, I realized much too late that instead of writing that days’ assignments under “Tuesday” I was writing it under “Thursday.” You say, “Big deal” but remember, God speaks through common, ordinary, and even cheap objects. But he also speaks through your mistakes.
It wouldn’t have been such a bad deal if I had used a pencil. I could have just erased it, and moved on as if nothing happened. Relying only on myself, I would have gladly taken care of the situation. The pen, however, doesn’t work that way, and the mistakes we make daily are inked just the same. Psalms 51:1, with my emphasis, says, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.”
We want to erase our mistakes and enjoy life without them. This is the first part of what God spoke to me later that week, so let’s apply it to those BIG mistakes you’ve been carrying around.
If a time machine were to ever become a reality, I am certain the majority of people would go back and re-act where they once made a mistake. Nobody would know the reality of what was going on except the time traveler. But that’s all who would need to know. They now have the power in them to fix the situation themselves. They would go back to the time they insulted their friend, stole, lied, cheated, or killed. The person, yes the one who only years before failed, would strive with all energy to make it right. No grace needed; only a time machine will do. However, we don’t have time machines and never will. Besides, many of us would go make the same mistake again!
No matter how hard we try, or how focused on the situation we become, it is not possible for a man to overcome the sin that is present in his life by him-self. But we try…hard. Our world contains billions of mistakes, and we, the ones who make the mistakes, try to fix it. It makes sense to our world, but not to reality. When our cars run out of gas, we fix it. People fix up their homes, send back a product for another, and have amazing medical services. But when it comes to past mistakes, we cannot fix it. So since we have all tried to use the eraser and all failed to succeed, let’s move on to another motive we try with our BIG mistakes.
It sure isn’t the preferred move, but it seemed as if I didn’t have a choice: whiteout. Upon realizing I didn’t have the choice of erasing my mistake, I decided I would cover it up. We do this too with the mistakes we make in this life, and what a painful journey it creates. However, we have all done it.
Whenever that Thursday came, I wrote assignments on whiteout. I knew the mistake was still there, but I just kept on going—living a lie. And we do the same. Whenever we choose to whiteout the mistakes we have made, we try to live that life like nothing ever happened. We act as if nothing ever happened, all the while knowing something inside of us is developing uncontrollably. But our thought process tells us how nobody will ever know if we cover it up and live a fake life. Misery, just pure misery to constantly be carrying around our burden attached invisibly to our backs. As if carrying burdens isn’t enough, we also lie saying everything is ok and live a life that looks right on the outside. We try desperately to live on top of the mistake instead of allowing the mistake to live on top of us.
Besides the misery of living this way, there is also another problem with whiteout: it doesn’t cover us good enough. In my planner, I can still see the impression of my pen and pieces of words that weren’t covered well enough. This makes us concerned. We think someone may find out what we did and that only makes a miserable life even more miserable. However, there is someone who sees it all, and it doesn’t matter how much whiteout you use. We find this in the bible when it says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT).
And as if messing it up wasn’t enough, I lost that little school planner. I left it in a class and forgot about it.
Think about it. What if we left that mistake somewhere? Or better yet, with someone. Someone who cares about you and loves you dearly. What if they were able to heal us and set us truly free? Or even erase the sin in our life? Now that would be awesome! No more mornings when you wake up instantly reminded of your past mistake, or no more evenings for that matter. What’s even more awesome is the fact that there really is someone who is capable of redeeming people. His name is Jesus Christ.
It took a single God-sent sacrifice and one final resurrection. Romans 8:6 says, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” The Bible tells us, “And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory” (Romans 8:30 NLT). He died, so we could live and experience the freedom of grace instead of the condemnation of sin. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16 NLT).
Grace. Redemption. They are both found in Jesus. God sent Jesus to earth to fix something very big: the separation of people and God. If Jesus can fix that, he can surely fix any mistake that you find in your life. No longer do you have to clean it up yourself, but you do have the responsibility to follow Jesus. God cleans up messes that are big and small, but he does them wonderfully.
God’s grace is undefinable and definitely not completely understandable. It walks with you everywhere you go and pounds on your heart, wanting to be invited. We desire to have it, but sometimes we just pass it up and try dealing with it on our own.
You don’t have to deal with it anymore. No effort removing it. No covering it up. Just losing it at the feet of Jesus.
Grace is an amazing gift from God, but it doesn’t guarantee that we won’t have to face the consequences of sin. But give the sin to God, and he will help you with the rest too! It may seem unordinary. You may wonder if it’s possible and real. There have been times I have come to Jesus and surrendered myself. The outcome? Outstanding love from God, grace, and a new type of living.