After communion and before the sermon began, we sang one more song, How He Loves. I can't tell you how many times I've heard or sang this song. But somehow, singing it after communion, I became hyper aware of the lyrics and one part in particular.
"I don't have time to maintain these regrets
when I think about the way He loves us."
The word maintain is defined like this: (1) cause or enable to continue (2) provide with necessities for life or existance; synonyms: preserve, conserve, keep, retain, keep going, keep alive, keep up, prolong, perpetuate, sustain, carry on, continue, support, nurture, feed, nourish
The evidence of God's love for us is plain every time we see a cross. He sent His perfect Son to die for our sins so that we can have a relationship with Him. Romans 8:32 puts it this way, "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" And this doesn't even include that fact that when we accept Him, He takes our sins in exchange for His righteousness. I may not be an expert on drawing straws, but from a human perspective, Jesus got the short one on that deal. But what's amazing, is He doesn't see it that way. The problem is we do, and therefore, that lyric must become our personal anthems.
If we were to stop and think purposefully and intentionally about the way He loves us, why on earth would we maintain our regrets? But we do, don't we. It's evident in our thought processes, behaviors, and words. We nurture our shortcomings, failures, and past sins, consistently reminding ourselves of our depraved states compared to our Holy God and His precious Son. Call me crazy, but if my kids were constantly asking for forgiveness for something that happened ages ago, and were always believing the worst about themselves because of something in the past, I would be devastated. Especially if I had lavished them with a priceless gift to make sure they knew that all was made right.
Last nights sermon (which was fantastic) was the story of David and Goliath. Pastor Billy Bob White said, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, but so does fear. The one you believe is the one you listen to the most." I submit to you though that this can be tweaked slightly to this, "Forgiveness come from Jesus, His blood, and the things God speaks over you through His word. Condemnation, regret and shame, came from Satan and his desire to steal, kill, and destroy you. Which one are you listening to most?"
I can not write this without honestly sharing that I struggle with this. But I do maintain regrets that I can now look back and see how God's way truly was the better option. To a degree I can say I knew His way, but He knows that without the relationship I have with Him now, I certainly did not understand His point of view. And perhaps that is the gift of His grace. Not that I can go back and make different choices, but that going forward I can equip those I love, espeically my kids, with the information they need to hopefully make better ones. And while they will eventually decide things for themselves, I can only pray that if they stumble and fall, they too will hear the words of this song and realize they don't have to maintain their regrets either.
Father, I have wasted more time focusing on the wrong things than I would care to admit. But in Your love, when I was ready to understand that, You made it clear that I don't have the time to maintain the regrets. There are more important things to do like honoring You, living my life for You, and sharing Your love with others. Thank You for such a gentle and sweet reminder that the way You love me is perfect. Amen.