Regret Sucks Big Time
God told me to do something the other day and I flat out said, “No.” I’m three decades into my walk with Lord, I love Him with all my heart and yet I still don’t obey right away.
En route to the grocery store and library with my three boys in tow I see a man on his knees in a crumpled pile in a parking lot.
God said, “Go to him.” And I said, “Eww… he looks scary.” I drive past the entrance to the parking lot, God says, “Turn here, there’s another entrance on the side of the lot – go to him.” I reply, “I’m running errands and the library closes soon.”
Driving down the street with my heart in my throat and my stomach in knots God says, “Turn around. Go to him.” I can’t think of another excuse other than, “No, I don’t want to.” On I drive.
I get to the library in time. I have a car full of healthy food and children who love me to bits as I head back to my beautiful home. I say to myself, “OK, if he’s still there I’ll go to him now, but I knew it was much too late.” I even took a different road home and thought to myself as I headed out of town, “Oops, that parking lot is on the street parallel to this one, guess I was on the wrong road.”
God didn’t say anything, He didn’t have to, now it was just me on my own facing the repercussion of disobedience.
I did finally flip the car around with a heavy heart and tears streaming down my face. “Forgive me, Father.”
I shared with the boys what happened. “Boys, it’s so much better to obey right away even when we don’t want to. Please learn obedience now, practice now. Please build a habit of listening. Put God first, self second. It’s so much harder as an adult to change.”
Living with regret is far worse than any discomfort posed by doing the right thing immediately.
Several days later we were at the beach. At the edge of the water I see a huge piece of beautiful vintage sea glass my favorite color and very rare to find – teal. I jump for it and miss. It’s snatched up by the pounding wave and disappears. God says to me, “That was the man I asked you to go to.” I prayed, “Thank you God for your forgiveness of my disobedience, please give me the chance to serve you as you would have me to.”
We matter to God. Scary looking, hurting men crumbled in public parking lots are precious to our Lord.
I wish I could say that was a turning point for me and from then on out I’ve walked in obedience. But…
Days later I walked past a family on the sidewalk tucking their children into a big handmade wagon, with a sheet of plastic barely covering it, right as the sun was setting and storm clouds gathered overhead. I didn’t buy them the dinner I was meant to. Then, because our God is a God of second chances, and great is the need, I was immediately given the chance to offer a ride to a woman dressed in nice business attire, running across a busy intersection getting soaked to the core by the tropical storm. Again, God lead, and I said, “Nope, not gonna do it.”
Those back-to-back situations however were a turning point. I got it. It’s not my job to analyze God’s instructions. My insecurity and personal discomfort is not to take precedent over obedience. It’s about us being His hands and feet. We are to serve in the way that God would have us to even when it doesn’t look like something we “want” to do.
God, I pray that you give me the opportunity to do your will. Speak to me clearly so that I understand your instruction and fill me with courage that I may walk boldly in obedience.