Regret is a powerful force. We are tempted to deny our regrets exist when the real opportunity is to wrestle with the pain and encounter forgiveness.
How powerful, really, is the temptation to deny our regrets exist?
It is one of the most powerful forces, because, whether we like to admit it or not, we hate pain. And regret is an oft-irreconcilable pain. It will seem easier to deny the pain ever existed. But the real problem is not the regret itself, but the false lie of a life we procure in its place.
Any pain that comes our way through our personal experience is a salient temptation to deny the sting of it. Why would we endure pain when we can deny it and move on with our lives? But denial is never moving on; it’s how we get stuck in maladaptive methods of maladjustment to life’s slings and arrows, for which there are so many.
How are we to wrestle with our pain?
We encounter our pain’s truth as we learn to stand firmly in God as we encounter our emotions, learning to hear what God in the Scriptures says to us.
There is no viable substitute for the truth. A truth honoured is a strength in our weakness. It’s the choice to honour what is real, what can be trusted, and that which is ever authentic, and so faithful as to be reliable.
Wrestling with our pain is sitting in the midst of the fire, taking all its furious heat, defying the flames as they scorch and singe.
Wrestling with our pain is taking the force of such an assault with the divine temerity of Jesus. As our Lord cried out for the Father to forgive his murderers, he stood in the midst of torment with the patient courageous meekness only God could muster.
What is the encounter of forgiveness like? How will I know it when I encounter it?
To encounter forgiveness is a miracle of sorts; many diverse sorts.
A weight is lifted from the burden of life. There is a sense of assured acceptance in knowing, that, whilst the past is done, the present and future lie gaping awake for a new thing.
Forgiveness is not only possible, it’s probable when we face God truthfully with the knowledge of God’s character and nature — God wants to forgive us.
Praying for real opportunities toward experiencing God’s freeing forgiveness is our task.
Regret is a waste and an unnecessary burden, shackling us to denial; a life dominated by fear. But the truth wrestled with is a truth that sets us free! And those who are called to truth, who venture by courage into their regrets, are freed indeed. Forgiveness is procured through a truth honoured.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.