By: Staci Stallings
Quick: Name Solomon’s mother.
You may not be able to. If you are, you probably know where this is going already. If you don’t, stay tuned. You may be in for as big a shock as I got yesterday.
The question of our mistakes has been on my mind recently because of the books I’ve been reading. From “Getting Past Guilt” and “Spiritual Burnout,” it’s become really clear that I’m not the only one on the planet that has gotten God and His love for us mixed up and stuffed into a box it was never meant to go into.
As I said in one of my previous articles, I went off the track big time in not understanding what “to believe in Him” meant. I did not get from that that I was to believe in His power to accomplish and handle what He had set before me to do. Instead, I was conned into believing I was supposed to accomplish what He set before me. That was a recipe for disaster in my life.
I have learned as I’ve gotten honest that it’s a recipe for disaster in other people’s lives as well. The more I talk with people honestly, the more I realize that we all make blunders in this life–sometimes major, MAJOR blunders. We take things into our own hands, act stupidly, get willful and sometimes rebellious. We choose to do things our own way, in our own time, on our own resources, and with our own understanding (recipe for BIG TIME DISASTER!).
Now of course I know and have learned ever deeper that God chooses to forgive us and love us anyway, but the truth of the matter is that many of our wrong and willful choices have consequences. And many times these consequences are physical consequences that don’t just go away even when we are forgiven in the spiritual realm.
For example, if you kill someone and later repent for that act, you are forgiven, but that doesn’t bring the person back to life. If you cheat on your husband or wife, God may forgive you but the hurt may be so deep and abiding that the marriage is gone forever.
Yes, there are physical consequences, and getting past the sin doesn’t always mean those are removed.
So what is to be thought about those physical consequences? What about those lingering things that remind us sometimes daily of how off-the-track we got?
In thinking about this, I keep coming back to “Heaven is Real” by Don Piper. It is the sequel to “90 Minutes in Heaven” and describes the time after his recovery. For those who don’t know the story, Don was a preacher and while traveling, drove onto a narrow bridge and was hit head on by a truck. He died but was “sent back” to live. The thing he keeps talking about in “Heaven is Real” are bridge moments–those moments in life that change us drastically.
He says that he was one person going onto the bridge and another person when he came off. His life had forever been changed by his “bridge moment.”
Now many people want to “go back to the way it was” after they’ve had a “bridge moment.” Say someone close to them died. They grieve, yes, but some get stuck in wanting life to be the way it was. They have gone through a bridge moment but have not accepted that life has changed as they come off the other side. They cannot see that anything good could ever come from the moment that changed their lives forever.
I’ve had several major bridge moments in my life–some happy, some tragic. All have changed me. All have shaped me into the me I am today.
One of those bridge “moments” was more like half a lifetime as I was stuck running hard on the perfection wheel. I see now what a mistake that was. I see how I hurt myself, how distorted my thinking was, how very close I came several times to ending up a real tragedy because of how wrong I had understood God in my life.
But one of the things I am learning too is that our mistakes are not obstacles to God. The God of perfection and ultimate love can take our wrong-headed, willful actions and weave them into something beautiful.
How do I know this?
Because I now know who Solomon’s mother was.
This might sound weird, but to me, there were always several parts of David’s story but strangely, they didn’t exist together in my understanding. There was David, the small boy who fought the giant. There was the young man who wrote the psalms. There was the king. And there was the man who went off track of God’s love by falling in love with Bathsheba, having her husband killed, and marrying her. And there was David, King Solomon’s father.
To me, it was hard to reconcile all of those men, so I guess I didn’t. They were all kind of compartmentalized for me.
Until I learned who Solomon’s mother was.
See, I always king of thought of Solomon as being one of David’s “achievements.” Yes, he went off track. Yes, he fell into serious sin. But in the end it worked out because his son, Solomon, took over the kingdom, asked for wisdom and was a wise and good ruler. So David may have gotten things really wrong, but his legacy was good.
Hahaha! God has such a sense of humor.
What I thought of as DAVID’S achievement was in fact GOD’S achievement in the face of David’s willful sin and evil deeds.
See, God took the bad David did, David’s sin, and wove it into one of his greatest legacies–King Solomon.
Look up Matthew 1:6 and understand that it was from the line of King Solomon that Jesus Christ was born.
Read that verse and understand that yes, King David was Solomon’s father, but Bathsheba was his mother.
That’s right. The Bathsheba that represented King David’s most tragic mistake. But from that mistake, God wove something beautiful.
The mistake wasn’t the end of the story. It was, in fact, the thread of the story that gives people who get it really wrong and go off track hope. Because God used David’s sin not just for the moment, but He wove it into the pattern of His Eternal Love for Us!
He can do the same with your mistakes too.
For me, that’s really exciting because it means that yes, I may have gotten things wrong in the past. I may have even gotten them REALLY wrong in the past, but my wrong doesn’t prevent God from using my stupid decisions to work out my best good.
That means I went onto the bridge as one person. I had my bridge moment, but coming off the bridge into a new and different life doesn’t have to mean it’s a reduced life, that it’s a worse life, that I’m forever doomed to wish it was like it was before. I can move into God’s healing and joy–not because things are the way they were before, and not because it somehow didn’t happen, but because God can use even those bad things for my good. I can allow God to take my hurt and my wrong decisions and weave them into something truly beautiful in my life.
Now I don’t know about you, but THAT is Good News to me!