The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. PSALM 34:22
Barbara and I planted a maple tree outside our bedroom window about 10 years ago. I don't know what kind of water supply it tapped into, but this tree has just grown like crazy. It's absolutely magnificent! Around the end of October every year, its leaves turn a brilliant yellow and orange that look almost electric—like it's plugged into a light socket.
One fall afternoon, I was outside in that part of the yard, and I said to myself, Why didn't we plant more of these trees? Imagine how gorgeous our place would look up here with a few more scattered around? But we didn't. And I can't go back 10 years and do things differently.
Regretting to plant a tree is one thing. Regrets in life are quite another. I don't have to ask if you've ever felt that way. You may look back over your life and think, Why didn't I save my purity for marriage? Why haven't I been more consistent in my parenting decisions? Why have I let myself get so busy and distracted from important things? Why didn't I put a stop to this one particular sin years ago instead of letting it linger and defeat me my whole life? Why didn't I obey God when He made it so clear what He wanted me to do? Why didn't I do what He said? Why didn't I surrender my life to Jesus Christ sooner?
The truth is, all of us wish we'd have done some things differently. We all live with a measure of regret and disappointment. The only difference is whether we let ourselves moan for the past or be thankful for where we are . . . and decide to make choices today that will result in a life of no regrets later.
Think back over a few of your greatest regrets. What have you learned from these that you can apply today?
Thank God that He is a God who forgives even our greatest regrets and gives us faith, hope and courage for the future.