Choice: a decision to choose one thing, person, or course of action in preference to others
Consequence: something that follows as a result
Regret: to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others.
Do-over: a chance to redo an action
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Eve. About the choice she made to believe the lie of the enemy and doubt the goodness of God. About how one simple choice ushered in such overwhelming consequences. About the regret she must have felt the moment her lips tasted the bitter-sweet fruit of her decision and her eyes were opened to the truth of her choice.
I’ve been thinking about the endless consequences that followed that one bite. Instant shame and fear. Broken trust and blame from her husband. Forcibly removed from the only home she’d ever known. Giving birth through tears and much pain. Receiving news that her youngest son had been murdered. Receiving news that her oldest son was a murderer. Being blamed for every heartache, every sickness, every disaster in the history of all mankind.
I wonder how many times tears flowed down the face of the first woman? I wonder how many times she whispered “if only”. I wonder how many times she begged God for a second chance, for a do-over.
I wonder if her heart was filled with regret as she stood at the grave of her son.
I wonder if her heart was filled with guilt every day when Adam came home sweaty and calloused.
I wonder if her heart was filled with shame every month when blood flowed from her body.
I wonder if her heart was filled with remorse every time she remembered walking side by side with God.
Like Eve, I know what it’s like to be deceived, to listen to the lie and doubt the goodness of God. I know what it’s like to face consequences that you never expected. I know how regret and guilt and shame feels. Many times I’ve quietly whispered “God, can I have a do-over?”
Can I have another chance?
Can I go back and choose differently this time?
Can I undo what I have done?
And just like Eve, He answers me with a soft but firm “No.”
No we can’t have a do-over. We can’t go back in time and erase the foolish choices. We must live with the consequences of our sin.
But that doesn’t mean we live without hope. For where God says “no” to do-overs He says “yes” to redemption.
Redemption: the act of saving something or somebody from a declined, dilapidated, or corrupted state and restoring it, him, or her to a better condition
Through Eve sin entered the world. And through Christ redemption entered the world. The seed of a woman defeated sin and death once and for all. And now, because of redemption, because of the choice Jesus made to offer Himself up as payment for our foolish choices we get something better than a do-over, we get new life. We get beauty for ashes.
God doesn’t want us to live with regret. He doesn’t want us to carry guilt and shame. He doesn’t want us to live constantly aching for a do-over. He wants to redeem. He wants to restore. He wants to heal our broken hearts, and bring glory to His name.
Redemption comes at a great price. A price that has already been paid. Redemption cost Jesus His very life, which He freely gave for the joy of seeing us set free, not just free from sin, but from regret as well.
I don’t know what regret you carry. Maybe it’s harsh words spoken, an abortion, a failed marriage, or sexual sin. Maybe it’s not standing up to an abuser, years of addiction, or not doing something you should have. Maybe it’s an empty womb, an arrogant heart, or a missed opportunity. Whatever it is, can I assure you that God can redeem it. Redemption may not look like you think it should. It may not include restoring what was lost. It probably won’t erase the consequences of your choice. But it will be beautiful. You will be beautiful.
Because God makes beautiful things out of the ugly ashes of our lives.