Tag Archives: failure

3 Left Turns


“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7

A few days before Christmas, we drove a long with our children’s pastorm his wife and another volunteer to take about 20 kids to see the holiday lights at the St. Albans City Park. It’s amazing how long a 45-minute trip can seem when the vehicle is bursting at the seems with elementary students. The lights were beautiful though, and hopefully there were some good memories for all of us. After our drive through the park, we were taking them to get dinner. Not all that familiar with St. Albans, I Googled for directions to the closest McDonalds.

The traffic leaving the park was pretty congested, and kids kept asking, “How much longer?” What started out as 8 minutes, turned into 15, and the hungry kids asked every 45 seconds, “How many more minutes?”

My navigation app wasn’t doing its best, and as I directed Shawn to go straight across the bridge, suddenly the app showed me that we should have turned before the bridge. Now the directions said to keep going across the bridge and make a left, then another left, and then another left.

It’s been said that two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do.

I can tell you those three lefts suddenly took us from 2 alleged minutes to 8 alleged minutes left, and our kiddos, not to mention us, were less than thrilled.

It’s a new year, and a new decade for that matter. It is a time when we tend to take a look at our lives and become inspired to fix some things we aren’t happy with. Maybe it’s our eating habits, or our organizational efforts, our exercise routines, or our prayer time. Those sorts of things tend to get some extra attention this time of year. We make the decision to do better, and then we usually do – for a time. But the weeks pass, and on a rushed day the frozen pizza is easier to grab for lunch than chopping a fresh salad, and oversleeping causes us to skip out on the quiet time with God, and we have a decision to make.

Do we give up because we messed up, or do we make those three left turns to get us back in the right habits we know are best for us?

It’s easy to get down on ourselves and determine that we can’t follow through with the plan we had. We might mess up, but one day or one week or one whatever doesn’t mean that we have failed. We are a little off course and need to make some adjustments to get back on track.  

So don’t get discouraged. If there are things you are wanting to change to make life better, make the decision every day. And if you mess up, make the right decision again tomorrow. Every day is a new opportunity to get it right.

Nick Fewings

A Redeemer of Hope

A Redeemer of Hope
People Walking, by DM Grace

I have a recurring dream where I am in a car and we are driving crazy-fast on dangerous, hilly roads, when we go airborne and I’m always certain this is my final day on earth Then, just before landing, I wake up. The waking up part is one of the best feelings in the world. So terrified, then suddenly such relief.

I remember falling asleep in tears one night, a bunch of years ago, certain I had done so much damage to our marriage that we would be finished. I felt more shame and hopelessness than I ever have felt any other time in my life. And when I woke up the next morning, I was groggily piecing things together in m y mind, hoping that I could tell myself it all had been a dream. But as my story came together in my head, I was crushed to remember it all had been true.

This was real and happening and I was facing a future I didn’t know. The pit in my stomach grew. I had no hope for us.

Being without hope is a lonely, dark place. I hope you haven’t been there, but if you have then you know what I’m talking about.

In Luke 24, two followers of Jesus were walking along a road after Jesus’ crucifixion, feeling an extreme level of hopelessness, when Jesus showed up to talk to them. He didn’t let them realize it was Him, and instead asked them something like, “Whatcha talking about?” They told Him about this Jesus being a prophet who was so powerful, but that the leaders had given Him the death sentence and crucified Him. They went on to say, “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (v. 21)

But we had hoped.

Hope is such a beautiful word, but “had hoped” is heart-breaking. Once there was hope, but now there is not. We are past that time when we were anticipating a rescue or restoration or healing to a time where we can’t see nay signs of hope anywhere. It was a nice dream.

After spending the evening with these guys talking to them about Scripture and staying at their home and blessing their bread and giving it to them at their table, Luke says, “their eyes were opened.” They suddenly were able to see their Christ, the One they “had hoped” would redeem their people. He was not dead at all but had been with them all day.

Jesus met them where they were to restore their hope.

This is so significant to me for many reasons, but one is that He remained on this earth a mere 40 days after his resurrection. That He chose to spend nearly an entire day with these two to help restore their faith is something that makes me love Him even more, if that’s possible. This is a Savior who cares so much about each one of us that He will go to great lengths to bring back our hope. He loves us so much.

Jesus has restored my hope in Him so many times. And thankfully He also restored my hope for my marriage. He redeemed us, and I still can’t get over it.

Whatever is going on in your life, I don’t want you to lose hope. But I know of Someone who is happy to restore it when you do.

He does it in His own way and in His own time, but He will do it. It may not look a thing like you planned or imagined but trust His ways. There is always hope in Him.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
Hebrews 6:19a