"Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy." Psalm 65:4-8
I made a mistake with a bottle of hair dye the other night. It was awful. Every time I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror, I practically shuddered. All I could see was orange, not the "natural, sun-lightened blond" the box had promised. I hated it so much that I marched myself right back to the store and purchased another box of dye to try and fix the mistake. It only helped a little. The worst part is that I had read the recommendations about which shade to choose to get the result I wanted, but I was distracted by the phrase "sun-lightened," and so I discarded those recommendations. Bad move.
I suppose I could make a trite comment about how, in life, we need not only to read the instructions, but to follow them as well, which would be a good lesson learned. Or I could draw some lesson about how we can't go back and fix our mistakes; we need God's help to fix them.
But that's not necessarily true, either. God doesn't exist to fix our mistakes, or prevent us from making them. He doesn't put out our fires, make us successful, make us happy, or make our lives easier. But if God doesn't exist to fix our mistakes, and we can't fix them on our own, then where does that leave us?
We're not meant to fix our mistakes, and nine times out of ten, one can't go back and rectify them, anyway. Yeah, yeah, yeah...we're meant to learn from our mistakes. That's true, of course, and we certainly don't want to go through life making the same mistakes over and over again. We surely won't grow as people if we do that.
But watching what God does with our mistakes, not fixing them, is perhaps one of the most amazing and humbling gifts we can experience on this earth. I'm not sure that choosing the wrong hue for my hair is going to bring about any sort of intervention from God. But there are plenty of other opportunities for God to take my missed opportunities and turn them into something great, and more particularly, something for His glory. He knew when He created us that we were going to be imperfect, and consequently annoying, frustrating, and even disappointing at times. But how excited must He have been, thinking about all the ways he was still going to meet us, through our imperfections, and show us whom He really is! I get excited just thinking about the next time I will see my daughter smile, and I can't imagine how God looks forward to the next time He will make us smile, especially if we are in the midst of something deeply challenging, or even hopeless.
Even though it's not God's job to make me happy, it's more often than not a by-product. Or maybe it's the deep-down joy of having someone who won't reject me for my mistakes, but who will open His arms, perhaps even wider, and say, "I still love you. Now watch this."