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The Gouges in Our Lives


For those of you who know me personally, know that I love to operate machines. Band saw, jack hammer, tree cutter; you name it, I want to try it. But every now and then I come across a piece of equipment that I struggle with using. For example, my husband formally owned a landscaping company. When he sold the business and equipment, he decided to keep a lawnmower for our house. Which one might you ask? The largest one he owned. Boys and their toys! This happens to be the mower that I have the most trouble with. The other day, I decided to help my husband cut grass before it started to rain. I pulled on my work boots, put on my hat, lathered up my arms with sunscreen, and went outside ready to face the large mower like a boss. Everything was going great until I came to the ditch in the front yard. It had been a while since I had cut that part and let’s just say I butchered it. There were deep wavy lines along the whole ditch. So, what did I do? I turned around and tried to fix it. Big mistake; I made it worse.


Being the overthinking writer that I am, I sat there looking at my mess and realized that it was kind of like our time here on Earth. I have made some big mistakes, a lot bigger than messing up a ditch, and those bad decisions ultimately altered the course of my life. During those situations, I should have asked for help. I should have studied God’s word and prayed for guidance.


Though I hated to admit it, I knew I needed my husband’s help with the grass situation. I reluctantly and sheepishly rode the mower over to my husband who was weed eating the back yard and explained what I had done. He just looked at me with a little grin and calmly said, “It’s okay. I can fix it.” He walked over to the ditch and patiently started to make the cuts even. He did his best to fade out my mess, but you could still some of the gouges. The only real solution was to allow it to grow back while I wallowed in guilt every time I drove by. (Yes, I am being overly dramatic to get a laugh out of you.)


Unlike the shame I felt watching the grass grow for the next couple of weeks, God’s forgiveness is good. It is immediate and complete once we ask for it. This can be seen in the following verses:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to

cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our

transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12

While spiritual guilt and shame can be erased, sometimes the earthly consequences of our actions cannot be. Jail sentences, failed marriages, and lost time are a few examples. But it is comforting to know that when God forgives our sins, He also seeks to use the old “gouges” for his glory. These often become some of our greatest blessings.

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who

love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”


I pray that this post inspires you to look past your mistakes, even the small ones like a bad grass cutting, and let God’s light shine through you.


Simply growing in grace,

Carissa

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