Winter can be depressing. Grey skies, short days, cold temperatures, plus the advice to stay inside due to Covid-19, is enough to damper anyone’s spirits.
But winter will pass and a new season will show up on the calendar, like the first day of spring. We have two calendars in our home. One is located on the refrigerator and the other is nailed to the wall in my downstairs office.
Although January of 2021 is ending, and a new month will take its place, for some of us, the regrets we keep close to the chest don’t pass as easily. It’s difficult to let them go. How can you live life without having regrets?
For the last two years, I’ve been reading close to sixty journals as I write my memoir. And that experience has about put me under. Sometimes, I sit at my laptop and bawl. Looking back is good and bad. Yeah, it may be therapeutic, but going down memory lane is not a path everyone can take. Writing is not for wimps. It’s hard to recall the days when we should have taken a right turn, instead of a left. That’s why we need Jesus.
It’s so easy to miss the grace bestowed to us, day after day, time after time, opportunity after opportunity. Truth is, the season of our life will eventually run out with no more months of a calendar to flip to.
Recently, I had to call a physician from work for a needed Independent Medical Examination (IME) report for a patient claiming disability. He told me he hadn’t finished the report because he was up all night due to more patients dying from the virus. “I’m tired of all the deaths,” he said. I felt guilty bothering him when I heard the pain in his voice.
Everyone experiences sorrow, including believers and non-believers. There is no season or month of the year when that reality isn’t present. But there are two types of sorrow. Paul explains the difference from his book 2 Corinthians.
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” (7:10, NLT)
I believe, one day, we’re gonna be surprised who is in heaven and who is not. Those of us covered by the blood of Jesus, whose names are written in the book of life, will still have to face judgment. And I wonder if that day will be about missed opportunities.
“What did you do with the opportunity I gave you to help the poor?”
“What did you do with the opportunity I gave you to share Jesus with a lonely soul?”
“What did you do with the opportunity I gave you to encourage someone who simply needed a word of encouragement?”
And the one I keep before me: “What did you do with the opportunities I gave you to show unconditional love to your daughters?”
The opportunities are endless, but so is the underserved grace of God. And His grace overflows like a well, drowning those missed opportunities.
When the enemy puts a thought of regret in your head that you’ve already given to Jesus, why not quote the following verse so you can stand up to satan, who wants to steal, kill, and destroy.
If I had to recommend one verse (from the entire Bible) to put in your psyche, to…ward off Lucifer’s lies, 2 Corinthians 10:5 would be it.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)
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4 thoughts on ““Goodbye January, Goodbye Regret””
This devotional is one of the Most Needed writings and I, along with so many others will benefit from this. Praise God for His putting this one in your mind and heart to share with all of us !!!
Nancy, that verse 2 Corinthians 10:5 is how I make it!
Much much needed. Thank you again Nelson. You always seem to know what is needed and when. 🙂
Hey Nita! I’m not a winter person, so I’m grateful I get to write about what has helped me through the spiritual winter days, hoping my crazy life encourages others.
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