Saturday, March 16, 2024



My life is filled with regret.  I can’t help it. It seems, every day of my life leads to more regretful moments.  Regret is like that unwelcomed and uninvited uncle who always shows up to Easter dinner, even when great pains are taken to keep the hosting venue a secret. 

“Grandma, can you please pass the ham?”

“Egad! What do you think you’re doing!? Keep your voice down! Uncle Anson will hear you!”

“How in the world is that even possible? He doesn’t know where we are and the last we heard from him he was in the Himalayan Mountains of southern Chile.”

“The Himalayans are in Asia…not Chile.”

“That makes it all the more impossible for him to have heard.”

Ding Dong.

“Hey all! Happy Easter!”

“Well! Would you look who’s here!? It’s Uncle Anson!...How did you find us…I mean…I hope you got the Easter invite this year…we left it under that big rock behind the barn, under the old rusted tractor.”

“I must have missed it! But no worries, here I am! You all have no idea how difficult it has been to find you…but I did!  Who would have thought that a destination Easter dinner in the bowels of Alcatraz was in the cards for this year! Could I get me some of those mashed potatoes?”

Regret…kind of makes you wish you hadn’t asked for the ham…despite Grandma’s reputation for delectable hams.

Like the inevitable arrival of the unwanted guest are the perpetual visits of regret.  Regret appears everywhere.  It is there when we miss our highway exit and find that we have just added 2 hours onto our already 12 hour road trip. It is opening the jar of peanuts believing that you can have just one serving, only to find that the jar is empty in your hands just 33 minute later.  It is telling yourself that you have enough gas to make it to the next gas station, knowing full well that you are pushing it pretty thin, only to run out 5 miles before the fueling station…without an empty gas can to even carry any fuel back to the stranded vehicle. 

Regret often runs deep…much deeper…as well.  Regret follows the allowance of irresponsible words which spill from between the lips and wilt the recipient with a crushing blow.  It is the unjustified burst of anger that conflicts with a testimony of grace, of which a believer is called to reflect.  Regret comes to visit when a poor action results in loss…the loss of life, freedom, affection or more. 

My life is cluttered with regret, like a long forgotten storage room in the unfinished basement of my soul. The space is filled with old dusty mistakes that lie dormant in the corner waiting to be remembered and suffered over from time to time.  As life goes on, the regretful basement of my soul continues to collect junk.  My sin is the greatest contributor to the junk of regret filling the cellar.

Unless something is done, the soul…my soul…will soon be overrun with the burdensome regrets of grieving mistakes and unattended sin.  Jesus not ONLY offers forgiveness of my sins…but he also offers a path of healing through the mourning of my sin.  Matthew 5:4 reveals that “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”  Jesus certainly offers comfort from our grief, but I am learning that in the case of this passage, Jesus is drawing his followers into a deeper mourning.  He is drawing us into a grief…a mourning…over our sin.  Not only do followers of Christ need to be aware of their spiritual bankruptcy (as found in Matthew 5:3), but we are also told to mourn over the sin that has left us there.

It is one thing to sin and hide it in the basement and it is quite another to mourn over our sin.  When we learn to grieve over our sin in such a way as to mourn over it, I am convinced that we find Jesus not only forgiving us of our sin, but also de-cluttering the overrun basement of our souls.

May we come to grieve and to mourn our sin, so that we will be comforted by Jesus Himself.  May the comforts of Jesus lift up our weary souls. 

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