I love this quote from Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. It’s such a comforting thought when you’ve had a bad day. When things did not go as you had planned. When you got distracted by things that really didn’t matter. Tomorrow IS a new day with no mistakes in it.
It’s so easy for us as women to beat ourselves up for not accomplishing more, for not doing better. I’ll be the first to admit that I am more likely to dwell on what I didn’t do, what I didn’t get done, to see all that still needs to be accomplished and become overwhelmed. Or feel like a failure yet again.
But something that I am learning (and it has been a process long in coming) that I can’t do anything about the way I already spent my time. It’s history never to be lived again. My husband has begun stopping me when I begin to say things like, “Maybe I should have…” or “I wish that I would have…” Because that is not helpful. You don’t get a re-do.
What we can do is learn from our mistakes–to confess them and move on. As I have been pondering this, I came across this verse in my Bible reading this morning that really spoke to me along these lines.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Grace and forgiveness. What two powerful words they are! God is so gracious to us and forgives when we call to Him. He loves us infinitely and has compassion on us when we fall, when we feel like a failure. He forgives when we repent and turn from the sin that ensnares us time and time again. He knows our frame and remembers that we are only dust. He freely grants grace to us, but sometimes it’s hard to accept that. We want to hold on to our “guilt,” and make ourselves suffer because we failed again. Like we have to punish ourselves for our wrong.
But that thinking is what gets us into trouble. While there are natural consequences to our mistakes, Jesus already paid the penalty for our sin. We don’t have to beat ourselves over the head for bad choices. Did you make a bad choice? Yes? Then take it to the Lord, confess it, and then ask for grace to keep moving forward, to make a better choice the next time. But more than that, I think that if we truly express gratitude for God’s forgiveness, it makes our hearts lighter and helps us want to change.
One final verse that really grabbed my attention and obviously had in the past as I have it highlighted is this:
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
Psalm 86:11 (emphasis mine)
My heart and mind are so distracted sometimes, that it was comforting to know that David sometimes struggled with it as well. So this is my prayer for today.
“Lord, unite my heart to fear you. Take away the distractions that keep me from doing what You would have me do today. Teach me the way I need to go today, and help me to let go of the mistakes of the past. Help me to make today a NEW DAY!”