It’s another Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker!
“After all… tomorrow is another day.” – Scarlett O’Hara
My momma once told me that Scarlett must be my heroine, and, when I asked what she meant, she smartly replied, “Well, with the way you procrastinate and put everything off until tomorrow, I thought you must identify with her.”
Oh, yeah, I did.
I still do.
There is a fine art to procrastination, and I’m really very good at it.
Tomorrow, tomorrow… I’ll do it tomorrow.
I’ll start my diet tomorrow.
I’ll clean off the bookshelves tomorrow.
I’ll shop for groceries tomorrow.
I’ll lesson plan tomorrow.
Like Scarlett, I tell myself, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”
And, every night, when I lie down in bed, I decide, “Tomorrow. I’ll do better tomorrow.”
I’ll be a better wife.
I’ll be a better mom.
I’ll be more patient, more pleasant, more productive.
I’ll be better.
Because, every day, I fail. Every day, I mess up. And every night, I go to sleep covered with a blanket of guilt and lying on a pillow of regret.
On one particular fussy, grumpy, “nothing’s going right” kinda day, I snapped at the kids.
“This is the LAST time, I’m going to tell y’all. If you do that ONE MORE TIME…”
Then I stopped in mid-sentence.
Sometimes, y’all, God whispers in a still, small voice. But, sometimes?
He speaks with the voice of a thunderbolt.
And, this time, on that day, I heard Him quite clearly. And He and I had a little “Come to Jesus” moment.
“Aren’t you glad I’m not like that?” He asked me in the depths of my lightning-struck heart. “Aren’t you glad I don’t love like that? Aren’t you glad I give YOU a second chance?”
And a third chance. And a fourth chance. And a one hundred and thirty-fourth chance…
New chances and new opportunities to make things right. To be better…
Because He loves me.
And He loves with infinite grace. He loves with patient mercy.
The kind of grace and mercy that forgives and washes away guilt and regret.
The kind of grace and mercy that I have a hard time accepting… the kind of grace and mercy that I often don’t show my kids.
Stunned by the power of His grace and mercy, humbled once again by His love, there I prayed, “Lord, please forgive me for not accepting Your grace. For not showing Your mercy to my family and others. Please let me love the way You do.”
He forgave me then. He still forgives me today. He’ll forgive me tomorrow. And He’ll keep on loving me.
Because He patiently loves with the unfailing love of a merciful Father.
Even when I mess up. Even when I don’t show up. Even when I throw up my hands in despair.
Because even when I fail, His grace is sufficient, and His sweet mercy falls like cleansing rain.
He says, “I give you new moments, new hours, new days.”
New moments to be better, new hours to love the way He loves, and new days to try again.
Tomorrow, after all, really is another day, Scarlett.
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23