As a perfectionist, I hate mistakes. They are such a waste. So inefficient and counterproductive. In my mind, if you are going to do something right, do it right the first time. Why waste time? Am I right? Plan it out and do it right!
Then reality hits, and frustration sets in. There is no way around making mistakes, even when I am 100% sure of something. As hard as I may try, and think I know what I am doing, I can still be 100% wrong…..what a waste.
Or is it?
One of the most comforting and freeing truths I have learned in the last few years is how Jesus redeems all of it. All of my mistakes. All of my misguided plans and intentions. All of my miscalculations. All of my misinformed perspectives. All of my misconceived motives.
Basically, all of me.
So when I get to Exodus 1-2 and begin reading about Moses and his divinely ordained survival, his upbringing in Egypt, yet his monumental mishandling of his role in aiding his own people who were enslaved, I get it. He started out so well. Tried so hard. But failed so miserably.
What a waste!? Right?
Not when his God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! The great I AM has a way of taking our messes and mistakes and using them regardless, fulfilling His purpose for us and our preparation and sanctification. All of Him compensates for all of us. Our faults. Our failures. Our sin. That is some kind of redemption! That is some kind of salvation! That is some kind of Jesus!
Even though Moses was born and purposed to help deliver his people from their oppression, it was through God’s plan and preparation. He was not to embark on this role in his own strength and abilities, even in his own zeal to rescue. It was to be God’s way, in God’s timing.
So when Moses messes things up by killing an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, he has to flee to Midian for his life. In his anger and zeal, he killed ……..to protect. Not only was Pharoah after him, his fellow Hebrews were resentful of his efforts. His attempt to rescue was not received as expected. What a mess!
Now it has cost him his home, his family, his people. He runs to the middle of nowhere to hide. But what he didn’t realize is that he ran right where God directed him. God had a plan to use his consequences to prepare him for what God had purposed all along.
God used the place, the people, and time to transform him from the shepherd keeping flocks in the desert to a deliverer of his people back in Egypt. He left Egypt, only to be redeemed and trained to return to Egypt!
Romans 8:28 teaches, ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” That verse does not say He uses only the right decisions, the right character traits, and the right consequences. Jesus, being the Author and Perfecter of our faith, uses ALL of it. He is able to use the messes and the resulting complicated consequences for His glory and our good!
Not one thing can thwart Him. Not one thing can derail His plan and purpose. He prevails! Every time!
That means…….nothing is wasted. Not a mistake, not a mess, not a heartache, not a tear.
That is life changing, because the pressure is off. I don’t have to be paralyzed with fear trying to find His “perfect” will for every step I take so that there are no mistakes. I don’t have to live in fear of “blowing it” accidentally. I don’t have to live life hoping my best is good enough.
Zero waste. As a perfectionist, I am impressed, not to mention more than a little relieved!