“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” NASB
A little boy was standing in the aisle of a card store looking over a vast array of cards. He had been walking up and down the aisle for quite a few minutes and had attracted the attention of the store clerk working at the register. He watched as the boy would pick up one card, look at it, and then put it back on the shelf. Thinking he might be able to help, the clerk walked over to him and asked what he needed. "Was it a birthday card for his mom, or a sympathy card for a neighbor, or maybe he needed a get well card for a good friend?" Shaking his head no after each card mentioned, the little boy scrunched up his nose and with a very serious expression on his face asked the clerk if they happened to have anything that looked like a blank report card?
Have you ever felt like that, too scared to go home and show that report card to your parents? I'm sure most of us have had that happen to us, if not over a bad report card, I'm sure there was something else you dreaded going home to confess. Now that we are all grown up we no longer worry about going home to face the music, but there are still times in our lives when we would love to have a blank card. Maybe the time you inadvertently said something hurtful to a friend, or the day you repeated a bit of gossip you heard on the way to work, or it sure would have come in handy last week when you had that big fight with your husband.
Can you think back to all of the other occasions where you would have liked a do over, a way to completely wipe the slate clean and start over? The list would be long and hard to keep track of wouldn't it? As Christians we sometimes get complacent in our lives and then before we know it we feel like we are stuck in a rut with no way out. We might even think do overs are only meant for new Christians, that somehow being mature in Christ keeps us from asking for help. I know that may sound crazy, but do you sometimes feel like you've used up all your second chances? I'm not talking about just the big things; I'm referring to those "little things” that you mess up on every day, the things that are different for each one of us, but equally important. What makes us think we can’t ask for more? Do you think God is keeping a running tab on all our mistakes and then after so many says "nope, you used your last blank card yesterday." I assure you that He doesn't work that way. Remember in Luke 17:4 Jesus said, “If a person wrongs you seven times a day and returns to you seven times saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” He wouldn't have told His disciples this unless it was something He wanted them to follow, something He follows Himself.
Forgiveness is the platform we base our entire Christian life on. Jesus sacrificed Himself in order to provide forgiveness for each of us. He loves you sister, not because of who you think you are, but because of who He knows you are. Run freely to the cross today with the knowledge that He will be there waiting to forgive you once again.
Please pray with me:
Why is it so hard for us to realize we are only as far away from You as we allow? Help us to see that we can't continue to judge ourselves by how long we've been a Christian, or by the things we do for You. Your grace is much bigger than anything we can comprehend, but yet it continues to cover us with an all-forgiving hand. Thank You for giving us the opportunity for blank cards and the ability for second chances.