I love the feel-good predictability of a romantic comedy, and recently I watched "You've Got Mail" for the 50th time. Everyone knows from the moment the opening credits roll that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will wind up together in the end, but not before they overcome several obstacles.
In one scene, Tom Hanks is stuck in an elevator with his girlfriend, played by Parker Posey. The other guests in the elevator are anxiously waiting to be rescued and they start mulling their regrets. They start sharing what they'll do if they ever make it out of their predicament. "I'm going to marry my girlfriend," says the elevator attendant. A tenant tearfully admits,"I'm going to start speaking to my Momma." While Tom starts to say something, his girlfriend ignores him and callously blurts out, "If I ever get out of here I'm going to have my eyes lasered." It's clear from the look on Tom's face that he regrets this relationship, and in the next scene he finds him suddenly single.
During our current message series "Starting Over," we're examining what the Bible says about regret. We all have them, and it can range from the silly to the serious. Perhaps we regret a prank from our teen years or the way we didn't take our studies seriously. It could be we have a strong faith walk now but we wish we had discovered the truth sooner. Some of us may lament a career choice or a relationship. Maybe we wish we could turn back the time on those words spoken in anger.
Whatever has us hung up in a cycle of regret, we don't have to stay there. God turns beauty into ashes and mourning into joy. He sits with us while we cry and rejoices with us when we get up and dance. While we think regret may be a finish line, it does not get the last say. Jesus makes all things new, and he can redeem your regrets by making them a starting point for healing and freedom.
Here are some verse to help encourage you when you feel stuck ruminating on your regrets. (And we look forward to seeing you Sunday!)
Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 43:2 - " When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."
Philippians 3:12-14 - " Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."