During a recent conversation, my daughter was bringing me up to speed on the status of a high school friend who lives on the east coast. Although we relocated to Texas nearly 3 years ago, she remains in touch with some friends there. Like Madison, this particular friend graduated from high school in the Spring of 2020 and planned to join the military. Unfortunately, due to a host of poor choices, she was rejected by the military and her life seemed to be on a downward spiral. Madison worries about her, as her friend has expressed both apathy and despair that seems to result in more bad choices. At the conclusion of our conversation, I encouraged Madison to remind her friend that bad choices, closed doors, and missed opportunities, do not have to define her potential and that there are other opportunities awaiting her. Isn’t it interesting, how our mistakes cunningly try to define the core of who we are and pronounce judgement onto our future? Yes, our choices have consequences, but it is also important to see ourselves through God’s lenses. For instance, do you remember Saul, who later was called Paul, in the Bible? The Scripture says that he persecuted Christians but after an encounter with Jesus, he became a devoted follower. Shortly after this encounter, Jesus appeared to a disciple named Ananias, and instructed him to meet Saul. Ananias immediately expressed his concern to the Lord, because he heard how Saul persecuted Christians and was permitted by the government to do so. God’s response to Ananias was, “Yes, but you must go! I have chosen him to be My instrument to bring My name far and wide—to outsiders, to kings, and to the people of Israel as well. I have much to show him, including how much he must suffer for My name.” You see, God had a special plan and destiny for Saul despite his horrible past, just like He has a special plan and purpose for Madison’s friend, and everyone else who makes mistakes. When Saul had an encounter with Jesus, he asked Jesus what His desire was for him, and Jesus moved him toward that desire and purpose. My prayer today is that everyone struggling to move past their mistakes will see themselves from God’s perspective and move toward their true destiny created by Him. Your mistakes do not have to define who you are!
Yes, but you must go! I have chosen him to be My instrument to bring My name far and wide—to outsiders, to kings, and to the people of Israel as well. I have much to show him, including how much he must suffer for My name. (Acts 9:15 The Voice)