I open the pack of shells I brought from a vacation with family nine years ago (a year before we would receive the Lord Jesus Christ and come to know His amazing grace). Hannah found the pack that I had forgotten to open, and I remember those days when I was well and strong, vacationing with my husband and then 1 1/2-year old Hannah. It was December and my husband and I decided to take time off from our work, and from our own personal pursuits living separate lives, to have a vacation with Hannah as a family.
Looking back now, I can never understand why I let those precious moments go, holding on to my own selfish desires and plans. We were happy, in those few days that we were together, although my husband and I were estranged. We were the loving parents to our child, our emotions and good thoughts were centered on her, never on the two of us. But inside, I was silently insisting and believing that what I had decided upon was for the best.
Regret is life’s most bitter concoction one could ever taste and one is made to drink to the dregs. Yet, the greatest mistake in my life, and one which I most regret, was also the thing that laid me at Jesus’ feet – beaten, scared, and repentant.
Feeling Jesus’ light shining on my mind, heart, and soul, I was amazed at how a Christ-less person could become so blind and so lost. From darkness into His marvelous light, one finally realizes how easily one could make mistakes, mistakes that affect other people’s lives, and even alter the future.
With all my soul, I regret those mistakes in my life, thinking that, maybe if I hadn’t committed them, I would still be well and strong, while serving the Lord with my restored family and relishing every bit of His amazing grace.
But I can see also that all things happened this way, to “multiply His wonders and miracles”, for His glory: redeeming and restoring broken lives, so that one’s very life could be a shining witness to His resurrection. That the Savior of the world, the redeemer of our souls lives forever!
For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. (2 Cor. 13: 4)
The tomb is empty. He isn’t there. Why seek the living among the dead? He is risen! And because He is, I’m no longer in my sins (See 1 Cor. 15: 17). From the grave of sin that had entombed me, He raised me up together with Him.
Because He lives, I live. And even though I have many regrets in life, and could cry a river wanting to redeem those days that I had wasted, my Redeemer lives and He will also restore that which I had lost: health, strength, and joyful, memorable moments with my family. And though illness makes this body suffer, my Redeemer lives, and therefore, I have hope.
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19: 25-27)
In the face of great tragedies and calamities, in the midst of indescribable pain, suffering, and sorrow, Job believed in the redeeming and restoring power of God. In my own lingering physical suffering, Job has been an inspiration to me. I can’t count the times that I have read his story and saw how it was humanly impossible to rise from the tomb of suffering, but by the amazing grace of God.
He makes all things new and I will rest in this truth.
So I declare with all that is in me: all things are possible because my Redeemer lives!