Regrets and Redemption

This morning I was thinking about life graphs…mapping out one’s life, reviewing the highs and lows, and examining God’s faithfulness and teaching and our growth in those times.   Then, the thought of regretful moments muscled in.  What about those moments which aren’t major highs or lows, but which continue to just low-grade torture us?  If only…  I just wish I hadn’t…  Why in the world did I…    Regret can be demoralizing and defeating.  The things we regret might be big, public, and obviously life-altering, but often the ones that are especially hard to let go of are smaller and just sad.  As I thought of this, the word, “redemption” came to mind.  Christ is our Redeemer.  He doesn’t just bring forgiveness, He also brings redemption.  He has and continues to redeem every part of us and our lives.  That’s why Paul can say:

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


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Sifted Like Wheat

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31, 32)

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this verse. Jesus says this to Peter (Simon), after He has washed the disciples’ feet, and they’ve shared the last supper together. After Jesus has taught them about what it is to be great (you must be a servant), and after He has just commended the disciples with, “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Before they head out to the Garden of Gethsemane, for Jesus’ night of anguish and before He goes on to His sham trials and then death on the cross, Jesus says to Peter that Satan has demanded permission to go after him.


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Reflections on Haiti

It’s the first clinic day in Haiti. What in the world am I doing here? Though I slept last night, I still feel tired after having no sleep for 36 hours before that. I’m rattling along in a sort of metal cage in the back of a truck, through hot and very dusty streets amongst a people that I don’t know (some on our medical and translation team, as well as all of those on the streets). Most of the drive is not through beautiful countryside; it’s through bumpy streets that contain rubble and trash. (Or at least this is what catches my eye on this first day, and for some reason that I’m still trying to unpack it just hurts to see it.) I don’t fully know what to expect at the clinic or how to run my reading glasses station.

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Foolish Decisions

Have you ever made a foolish decision and then just had to live with it for what seemed like too long a time? Or maybe you’ll have to live with some consequences for the rest of your life?

Today, as I continued my slow (but good) progress through Jeremiah, I found myself in chapter 29. In the first half, Jeremiah has written a letter to those in exile in Babylon and is telling them what God has to say to them, which is that they will be in exile for quite a while….for 70 years. So, they should get on with their lives: 5 ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce.


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What Would You Say?

What if Jesus came and sat down next to you on your couch and said, “Look, I know it’s going to be hard, but I need you to go through a rough trial. Your experience with me in the midst of this trial and your humble and trusting response to it are going to be very important in the life of someone you love. And, please, remember that I’ll be with you always, every step of the way, supplying the strength and comfort you need.” What would you say?


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