Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6
I have a lot of regrets in life. I’ve heard people say, “If I had my life to live over again, I wouldn’t do one thing differently!” I believe that anyone who says says such a thing has never really examined his or her life and the things they have or have not done.
I regret not eating healthier in my younger days, I regret that I spent so much time in the sun, I regret that I didn’t spend more time with loved ones who have passed away, I regret harsh words I have spoken that may have wounded another, just to name a few. But most of all, I regret the years I have wasted.
As I get older, I am acutely aware at the swiftness at which the years pass. I know that I have fewer years ahead of me than I have behind me. I don’t really worry about the days ahead for myself, but I do worry about my son and grandchildren and what this increasingly evil and corrupt world may hold for them. I worry about unsaved loved ones and friends who don’t know Christ.
If I should feel the cold hand of death upon my shoulder tomorrow, I know that I will be welcomed into the realm of glory with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Whereas you do not know what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:14
But I have wasted years that I regret. Many wasted years.
I grew up in a Christian household but I didn’t always follow the path I knew I needed to walk. I felt the call of God many times over the years but made the conscious decision to ignore His voice. I was busy. Too busy to attend church, too busy to read my Bible, too busy to deal with God. I busied myself with family, and I made work and education a priority for the pure sake of ego.
And I was a coward when it came to Christ. There have been so many times over the years when I could have shared the gospel with someone and I remained silent. Deafeningly silent. I felt that tug at my heart that I know was Christ asking me to share His word and the plan of salvation with a lost soul but I would not.
So many missed opportunities. So many regrets. I have repented with bitter tears for the times I walked away from the doors that Christ had opened before me.
Even after I made the conscious decision to return to Christ, immerse myself in the study of scripture and commit my life to Him, I remained a coward. I would cry out in the quietness of my heart but lacked the boldness to actually make a stand for Him.
I prayed for the boldness that I knew I needed and Christ began to give it to me. But, just as I could feel the Holy Spirit embolden my soul, Satan would sling his arrows at me – over and over and over again to try to shut me up. But just as one arrow would come and discourage me, someone would say something to encourage me. Sometimes it is just that tiny word of encouragement that touches your heart that you know was sent by the Holy Spirit.
I have a couple of scriptures that I love that seems to steel my spine and give me courage:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
The wicked flee when no one pursues but the righteous are bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1
What about you, my friend? Do you have wasted years? I will leave you today with a line from this beautiful hymn,
Turn around, turn around, God is calling,
He’s calling you from a life of wasted years.
May God bless and keep you and if we don’t meet again here, I hope to meet you over there!