A friend recently called me to get together. Now this is one of those friends who doesn’t call very often, and her tone was marked by a sense of urgency. I knew something was up.
We looked at our calendars and found a date that would work to get together. Because she lives on the opposite side of the city, we decided to meet somewhere between her workplace and mine. I went online and searched for a Starbucks, sent her the address, typed the date into my calendar, and looked forward to getting together.
A few days later I got a call from my friend. She said, “I can’t find the Starbucks.” My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach.
I hadn’t looked at my calendar that morning. In the busyness of life and pressure of deadlines, I spaced the meeting.
By the time she called, I was already twenty minutes late and hadn’t even left the house. I realized that even if I got in the car and drove as fast as I could, it was already too late—the window of free-time she had for the day was closed. The next day I was leaving on a week-long trip.
I apologized profusely, but hung up the phone with the sense of, “What have I done?”
Not only did I stand my friend up in a time of need, but I discovered the Starbucks I sent her to was in a grocery store. The reason she called twenty minutes late is because she had been driving around trying to find a different Starbucks—thinking surely Margaret wouldn’t have us meet somewhere that didn’t even provide a place to sit down.
I don’t know if I can put into words how terrible I felt. You may be thinking, “It was just a meeting, you made a mistake.”
I hear you, but in my world, friends don’t do that to each other. I don’t want to do that to someone else and I certainly don’t want that done to me.
I remember finding the first possible date we could reschedule, texting her, and promising to take her to lunch anywhere she wanted to go.
And I’d love to tell you that then I moved on with my day.
But I couldn’t.
I kept replaying the mistake in my mind. The sense of guilt and remorse layered on top of each other. I’d try to toss it aside and like a boomerang it would come right back.
Deep down inside underneath the layers of guilt and remorse, the real question I was asking was how could God possibly love me? I certainly didn’t love myself, let alone like myself.
In that moment I needed to pursue God’s love—for my friend and myself. I needed to shift the focus from my mistake, my “fall” to God’s rising—to what he could do. [Tweet this]
And God did not disappoint.
When we finally got together, there was no awkward in the relationship, only grace. And I haven’t missed another meeting with her since!
This week we dove into Genesis 1-3.
FOR DISCUSSION: Answer the following questions as a comment to this blog post. Feel free to ask questions, reply to others’ comments, and post prayer requests.
- Often we tend to focus on our failings instead of the redemptive healing and restoration offered by God. Is there a mistake in your life that you continue to dwell on instead of giving it over to God? Write a prayer to God below asking him to enter your situation.
- These first three chapters of Genesis display various attributes of God—creator, father, restorer, lover, and more. What is your favorite attribute of God?
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