Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just Around the Corner

I greeted a stranger on my jog this morning. She had been walking her dog, Samuel Louise.

Focusing on my speed rather than location, I had made a mistake and turned the wrong corner. The stranger was standing in her yard, simply staring up at the blue sky. When I got closer I could see she was heartbroken, crying, talking to God...yelling at God.

Her kitchen was a cheerful place with sun streaming through yellow checked curtains.  Samuel Louise rested quietly in his big green bed the size of an inner tube. The woman's face was exhausted, ravished with emotion. Her Bible and a devotional guide were laying on the table.  She served chocolate-hazelnut tea and homemade cinnamon bread with trembling hands while I waited to listen, to love. 

"I think I've made a mistake," she explained. "My marriage. And becoming a mother and my career. My whole life feels like one giant mistake. It's not like I didn't pray about my decisions. I did. I do. But God seems to have disappeared on the scene, you know? And I am mad at Him. He could have stopped me, you see.  He could have stopped me from making the mistakes. I asked Him for wisdom."

Isn't it easy when things are going badly to conclude you've made a mistake? You buy a car that has to have more work done on it than expected. You marry someone who doesn't keep the promise to become their best self. Your child is the worst kid in the class and has no friends. And on and on it goes. A mistake. But is it?

"I don't know what I did wrong," my neighbor said. "What did I do wrong? And where do I go from here if I can't trust God to answer my prayers?"

It is right to make prayerful decisions, to know the Word of God, to acknowledge Him so He will direct our paths. But, through no fault of your own, you can find yourself in a big fat pit of a mess. 

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He spent a whole night in prayer before He chose His followers...and then He chose Judas. Things could not have turned out worse for him or for Jesus. Did Jesus make a mistake? No. Judas was a man and he was free to sin. But the end result was a change of epic proportion, the opportunity for Jesus to offer redemption.

Behind every door is a mystery. Behind every face is a story. Behind every mistake is an opportunity.  

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