Sometimes we look back and are disappointed how things have gone. How did we get off to such a bad start? We didn’t do what we said we were going to do. We did or said things we said we were not going to do or say. We didn’t begin well. And now we are not doing so well. What do we do? It is here we need perspective, a change in view. They say the earth’s atmosphere extends about 6,000 miles above the earth. The moon is about 238,900 miles from the earth. We learned and memorized at a young age that the sun is 92 million miles away. The next closest star is 4.2 light years away. That is far–very, very far. I can’t even imagine this. I then wonder, “How big is this earth I am on? How far is it around? How far is the east from the west, if we could stretch it out?” Of course, we know it keeps going and going, but how far is it around the earth? At the equator, it is over 24,901 miles around the earth. Driving with no stops at 60 miles an hour, it would take about 17 days to drive around the earth.
These distances are a little difficult to fathom with my finite mind. I believe it is true, but I still don’t know what 4.2 light years looks like. Yet, God uses these distances to tell us a little bit about Himself.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions (sins), from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:11-14
There are many days, at the start, that do not look like they are going to be a good day. There are many years that have rough starts. Sometimes new relationships end too quickly. Choices are made, and poor habits develop in no time. This is when I wish I could start over. “Could I begin again?”
It seems to me like I need a new beginning a lot–all the time. I say things I wish I could take back. I think things I wish I did not think. Harsh words are said. Impatience and control are twins that pop up too often. Forgiveness needs to happen. Bitterness starts to build. The list goes on.
One day, starting early in the morning, was one of those days. How can it be one of those days so early in the morning? Issues (built up from others days) are dumped, unwelcome on this brand new day. It isn’t fair! I was running and thinking, wanting things to be different–wanting me to be different. Of course, I want everyone else to be different as well, but really in my heart, I know I need change. I was running, looking down at the grayish, black pavement. Down I looked, thinking. Somehow, in the midst of wishing things to be different, I looked up at a bright blue morning summer sky. In the middle of that bright blue sky was a line–the kind of white line that planes somehow make. (One time my sister saw a plane at a sporting event write my name, “ERIN,” in the sky.) This morning, it was just a normal white line from the end of a plane, but it was for me. At that moment I thought about the above verses, especially the part that says:
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving-kindness …. as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
The line, going from the east to the west, reminded me of His great love for me and His forgiveness in my life. Even though, when I was looking down at the pavement, these things didn’t feel true, I was reminded, when I looked up at the writing in the sky, that these things were true.
The next closest star’s distance is unfathomable to me. God’s loving-kindness is also that immense towards me. Unfathomable. His love is deep, high, and wide. That is what He says about His love towards me.The distance around the earth, east to west, is further, much further than I would ever want to drive. His forgiveness is long, far, much beyond what I can even picture. Not only am I forgiven, He says He removes it from me. This is what He says is true about my sins. Forgiven.
Now as I recall this, it brings me hope. I need to be reminded of this time and time again, because this allows me to start over. I in turn, can extend this to others and this brings hope to these relationships. God’s forgiveness really is new again and gives hope in all kinds of circumstances.The writing is in the sky. He loves me and He forgives me. I have a new day and a new beginning before me. I can start again.
Continue with the next post: A Snow White kind of a day
Overflow: allowing God’s ways to touch our lives and then our lives to pour out to others
*What do the following verses reveal about God?
“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:23 .
“This I call to mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-25
*Take time out to confess your sins and get a new beginning. (1 John 1:9 is a good verse to remember. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and clease us from all unrighteousness.”)
*Is there someone you need to ask forgiveness from?