Psalm 37:24 “Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” New International Version
I revisited a college I attended. I saw people laugh and reminisce with college friends and reconnect with people who’d been out of touch. A flood of regrets and sad memories washed into my mind. When I look at my own college experience, I see wasted years spent clinging to an unwise relationship and pursuing connections that I thought would make me happy. I observe poor choices that brought much regret.
I grew up in church and in a Christian family. I’d asked Jesus to be my Savior, although I’d not completely yielded to His lordship. I prayed to God, but I didn’t fully trust Him. Instead I tried to live a godly life according to my youthful human understanding. At the same time, I sought something to satisfy the hunger and aching in my soul.
After graduation I continued to choose poorly at almost every turn, but I also continued to pray. God did have His hand on me, and there were highlights of His love for me. After one significant experience, His Word came truly alive and filled my heart with exaltation. Another time, I couldn’t shake the guilt over a particular sin, and He taught me how to repent and receive forgiveness. Then when I was in my early 30’s, I started doing devotional writing, and God has used it to bless and help me and apparently as a blessing to others.
At some point I began to truly believe that God forgave and forgot all my sin and foolish choices, and I grow in that knowledge and belief day by day. Today’s reminder was Christ’s proclamation on the cross—“It is finished!” I’ve heard that quote hundreds of times, and I’ve heard almost as many times its explanation. It means that Christ’s work (including complete forgiveness for me) was, without exception, accomplished. But today, my spiritual earplugs were removed, and I really heard it. Jesus actually did complete His work at the cross, and the forgiveness He accomplished applies to me too. What a relief!
Of course I’m not expecting to live perfectly from now on or to never need reminders of forgiveness again. I’m still human, and I still stumble. But God still has His loving hand on me. When I stray, He guides me back. As I learn to listen to Him more and obey Him more, He teaches me to extend His love to others.
Because God has been so merciful and good to me, I pray that He will use me to help others and that they also will turn to the Lord and will join me in loving and obeying Him whole-heartedly. Then I pray that when the time comes for us to say goodbye to earth, we will be ready to meet our Savior and delight in Him forever.