If Only . . . .

Jane Douglass White

READ : Matthew 26:14-26, 69-75
Matthew 27:1-5

Both Judas Iscariot and Peter probably said, “If only I hadn’t done that!” The disciples made many mistakes for they were weak humans just like us. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:14, RSV). We could all agree with that.

But look at the difference between how Judas and Peter handled their sinfulness. Judas couldn’t face the Savior and committed suicide. Peter repented. Jesus not only forgave him, but commanded him to “Feed my sheep.” We worship a God of second opportunities. There is nothing we can do to make him love us less. He longs for our love, but there is nothing we can do to make him love us more.

People make their lives miserable when a loved one dies by thinking of things they should have said or done while the person was alive. Others brood over failure instead of learning from it and moving on. Life is too short to waste time crying “if only.” When we take our trespasses to God in prayer, asking for forgiveness and help to avoid another such mistake, God will answer our prayer. But we must leave it with him.

PRAYER

Lord, forgive my mistakes and guide me to the joy of doing things your way. Amen.