Tuesday, May 21, 2019

When You've Made a Mistake~ The Mercy of Redemption

This winter I made a mistake. I noticed two rabbits for sale on a community yard sale group and felt sorry for them. Feeling sorry for them wasn't the bad part. The bad part was that I decided to take them in and care for them. When we picked them up, the first thought that struck me was how large they were--they looked so small in the picture! The rabbits (intended as meat rabbits) were literally puppy-sized and very "cozy" in the regular size cage that I intended to house them in until they could be outside in a hutch. 

One of our bunnies exploring the hay bin while I cleaned her cage this past winter :-)

I brought them home and realized my mistake. I hadn't strongly prayed about taking these rabbits in and now I found myself in a peculiar situation. The rabbits didn't fit in the cage that I had for them; they were huge--and they were mine. 

It was winter when I took them in; they stayed eventually in a cage in my mudroom and were a huge hassle to take care of. I was frustrated with myself. In the middle of homeschooling and all of the other responsibilities that I have, this was not what I needed-- Two large meat rabbits whose cage needed to be cleaned every few days and who would eventually (very soon) need a larger space. And one was nippy (they had been kept in a dark shed and not handled very much at all). I separated the rabbits and acquired a second cage. This was a little better, but not very much. 

I was frustrated with myself. I hadn't really prayed about the decision; I felt like the rabbits were distracting me away from time with my children, and they obviously were not small pets who could be easily kept in a guinea pig cage. I knew in my heart that I had made the wrong decision and was now facing the bleak and "depressing" consequences for it. 

So I waffled back and forth about what to do. If I kept them, they would be a huge amount of work and time commitment. I could give them away. I could rid myself of the responsibility. My brother-in-law works for an Amish family doing construction and they were willing to take the rabbits off of my hands. I strongly considered it. And I almost took this course of action. 

But then the Lord spoke to me. I felt uncomfortable giving the rabbits away. The feeling grew and grew in my spirit. I had made the commitment, taken the step of saying that I would take care of the rabbits--I had given my word in front of my children. I had taken responsibility, as wrong and as foolish as that may have been. 

I believed that the Lord was urging me to follow through on my decision. He was speaking to me, softening my heart--it was better to show my children that even though I had made the wrong decision in taking the rabbits in, that I would be faithful in caring for them since I had said that I would--it was better to keep my word, even to my own hurt and inconvenience. 

After I made this decision, the day after--one of my sisters walked in and said (along these lines), "Bekki; I want to talk to you about the rabbits; I think that you should keep them!" I explained to her that I had decided to keep them --and her words confirmed the conviction that I felt the day before. She had sensed from the Lord what I had sensed. 

It was such a freeing feeling. Instead of getting rid of the inconvenience, I embraced it. The Lord gave me a love for the rabbits and a desire to take care of them that had not been there before. My frustration was replaced with His peace. I realized that I could involve my children in caring for the rabbits and in loving them. I could show my children that we follow through on our word; that we keep our promises, that we care for what we said that we would care for. It was an opportunity to teach them. 

My children help me to clean their cages and to feed them, change their water, and to give them snacks of carrots and lettuce. They help me to put them in at night. It has been an opportunity to teach my young children responsibility and care for the Lord's creation. 

The Lord transformed a foolish mistake based on the feeling of the moment into a redemptive situation. As soon as it was spring, we built a structure for the bunnies outside--my children and my nephew helped to dig the huge trench (the wire had to be buried 2 feet deep because of predators --we live in the country) and to build the structure. The bunnies are so happy to be in a big space; and I know such a feeling of joy in obeying the Lord in following through on my decision. Almost every day my daughter Debbie wakes up earlier than her brother and lets the bunnies out of their hutches into their run and helps me to feed and water them. My son Elisha gives them their lettuce and carrot snacks and both children help me to clean the rabbit's cages. 

I was reminded through this situation that we live in a throw-away culture. If something doesn't work out or if we think that we made a mistake, we abandon it. We give up. We start fresh without any thought for redemption of what seems lost. 

When a wrong decision is made, we evade the consequences; we run away instead of dealing with them. 

Would it have been wrong for me to give the rabbits away when I realized what a huge responsibility they were? For me, it would have been--perhaps for someone else, it would not. But for me, as I believed God was speaking to me, it would have been the easy way, but I would have faced a second regret. 

We live in a society that embraces throwing things away. The abortion issue is a devastating example of this. 

People make mistakes--they sin--and then they try to rid themselves of the consequences, sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes out of blatant selfishness, sometimes because they don't have Christ and don't know how to handle a desperate, seemingly-confining and embarrassing situation. 

As Christians, we have the answer to this problem. 

The answer is Jesus Christ, the Author of redemption. The answer is His Word, that Word which urges us to follow through on our word, to face the consequences of our sins or foolish decisions, to offer Him the broken pieces of our lives and see what He does with them and how He redeems them for good. 

We may be stuck in a difficult situation because of our choices. But the Lord is merciful. We see this in David's life, especially in regards to his horrific sin with Bathsheba. 

David suffered agonizing consequences for that sin, but the Lord brought good--ultimately--from it. Not from David ignoring his sin or trying to push it under the rug or by justifying it, but only through heartfelt, sincere repentance and turning from the ugly choices that he had made. 

The Lord is merciful. He can redeem awful, devastating situations in our lives and bring beauty for ashes--when we submit to Him--when we repent and turn and cry out to him. He did it for the nation of Israel; He will do it for us when the repentance is real. 

In whatever situation you are facing in your life because of choices that you have made--poor choices, sinful choices--turn to God--not to the world's way of handling things--abandoning ship, justifying our actions, selfishly walking all over everyone and everything that gets in our way, but to God--the God of forgiveness and redemption. And in crying out to Him, mercy will come and the beauty of what He restores. 

It will never erase the sin, or the foolish act--but it will cover it with the mercy of redemption. 

You might find me on these link-ups:

Inspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomRaising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story,  Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdayGood Morning Mondays,  Counting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market FridayHeart Encouragement Thursday Sitting Among Friends Blog PartyFabulous Warm Heart PartyOh My Heartsie Girls Wonderful Wednesday LinkupWriter WednesdayTea and Word

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