As a child, my family did a lot of sailing. I remember we lost an anchor once. It had got hooked into a large rock and, whatever way we pulled it, nothing would dislodge it. In the end we had to cut the rope and leave it behind. ‘If only …’ is like an anchor that keeps us inescapably linked to past mistakes.
There can’t be anyone who hasn’t, at some point, realised that they’ve made a mistake and that they have to live with the consequences. And that’s where regret kicks in. “If only I hadn’t done that”, “If only I’d made a better choice”. And blame comes along as well: blaming others and ourselves: “How stupid!” And, as long as we hang on to those attitudes, we anchor ourselves to a past that we don’t like.
Abraham was an amazing man. What a walk of faith! But even he made mistakes. He struggled to believe that he and Sarah would have a son of their own to such an extent that he had sex with Sarah’s maid. He struggled to believe that God would provide for him and went off to Egypt to escape a famine, and then lied about Sarah to protect his own skin.
So why does Paul say, ‘he never wavered’?
Look at it this way. God promises to ‘blot out our sins and remember them no more’ (Isaiah 43:25). God chose not to remember Abraham’s failings, and the Holy Spirit, as He inspired Paul, chose not to remind him either.
But there’s something else. You see, God’s perfect will for each of us doesn’t begin where we would have been, if we’d never made bad choices. It always begins where we are right now. We might, through a wrong decision, have got into an uncomfortable place. But, as far as God is concerned, this is the right place for us to start the next part of our journey with Him.
Do you look back on past failures and mistakes with regret and shame? Well, how about cutting those anchors loose; accepting the reality of what happened; thanking God for lessons learned, and moving on with Him into His future for you. You are forgiven and God has chosen not to remember those past mistakes anymore. So why keep hanging on to them yourself?
Prayer: Father, thank You so much that You don’t just blot out my past sins and failures, You choose to remember them no more. I’m sorry that I’ve chosen to hang on to them. I repent of the bad attitudes that this has created in me. I choose now to lay them down, to thank You for the lessons I’ve learned and to embrace the future that You have for me. Amen.
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