“I missed it,” I sorrowfully stated into the phone as I pushed my too-full cart out the grocery store door and into the parking lot. “I knew I was supposed to get into that checkout line—I felt a nudging to do so—but I ignored it and just moved on to an open lane.”
As I explained to my good friend Julie, when I looked over from the checkout lane a few down from the one I’d just finished paying in, I could see there was a problem: the couple over there was having trouble paying. I realized that if I had listened to that small voice telling me to get in that lane, I would have been the customer directly behind them, with an easy way to see their concern and offer to help. As it was, it would have been awkward from where I stood to somehow offer assistance. Feeling frustrated over my lack of listening, I said a short prayer for the couple and left the store, dialing Julie as I walked to my car.
Julie listened to my story and then offered me encouragement I still think about today: “Just ask for another chance, Kendra! God is gracious to give it to us. You messed up; it’s okay. Ask God to give you another opportunity to make it right, and he will.” As I sat in my car for a few moments after our conversation ended, I realized Julie was right. I quietly asked God to give me another chance. And the beautiful thing is, He has, many times over.
Julie’s encouragement was just what I needed in my moment of guilt, and it reminded me of what Jeremiah tells us in Lamentations that God’s mercies are without end, new every morning! When we mess up, miss opportunities, or even make mistakes, we can be confident in the faithful love and generosity of the Lord, who offers us a fresh start each and every day.
Today’s act of friendship:
Offer encouragement to someone who has been discouraged lately.