Those of us in my high school class decided that since most of us were turning 60 years old this year, we’d have a joint birthday party a couple of weeks ago. In addition to doing poor impressions of teenagers that would have embarrassed our children, we also reflected on how things have changed since our high school days – how there are no more big black rotary phones in every house, how LP records are now ancient technology, and how hard it is now to find a bottle of “white out!”
“White out” was an essential in the days before typewriters were replaced by word processing programs. If you were typing and made a mistake, you had to stop, find the “white out,” brush some on the mistaken text, wait for it to dry and then type over it – which wasn’t easy because it sometimes left lumps on the paper. Today, one only has to backspace, delete and retype, and every trace of a typed mistake is gone for good.
What computers can now do to correct mistakes is similar to what God’s grace does for us. None of us are perfect and we all make our share of mistakes, but God rescues us and deletes them through the grace of the Christ who died for our sins.
It’s easy to dwell on our mistakes, play games of “what if,” and wish that we could do some things over again. What matters, however, are not our mistakes but the marvelous way that Jesus can eradicate them and bless us not because of who we are, but in spite of who we are. Be encouraged and count on Christ, even when you mess up. Trust and find comfort in the God who told His rebellious people, “though your sins be a scarlet, I’ll wash them white as snow.” God will turn your mess into a blessing.