Some memories are soon lost and some linger. One of my favorite lingering ones is listening to a father and son guitar and vocal duet titled “The Land of Beginning Again.”
Poor decisions had divided these two singers but they had decided to let their past be past and start over again. Their song, though an old one, was new to me and its heart warming message of harmony being restored in their family has been unforgettable.
Some quotes have endured through generations even though the names of those who originated them have been forgotten. Here’s an old one that bears repeating: “The Christian life is made up of many beginnings.”
Does this mean there is no crucial moment when faith is born?
Not at all!
When a respected religious leader came to our Lord to ask how to receive eternal life, he was told he needed to be born again; to experience a new birth (John 3).
We celebrate birthdays because they remind us of a crucial moment in time when one was born. And the birth of faith deserves a similar recognition.
What then did the one who spoke of “many beginnings” mean?
This unnamed one was referring to the many times we’ve made sincere commitments to the Lord on which, for any number of reasons, we haven’t carried through.
What shall we do about past promises on which we’ve not delivered?
Shall we forget about them? Discard them? Spend our lives feeling depressed over not keeping our word? Consider ourselves failures and determine never to make another promise to God? Lose heart about the future because of poor past performances?
Why not, instead, make a new beginning?
When I checked my voice mail one night there was a request for a return call from a man I hadn’t seen or heard from for many years.
Soon we were talking about his past struggles and present needs, one of which was to make a new beginning.
Is this possible?
What about those past broken promises?
Could he be sure of full forgiveness?
In my book, “Lord, I’m Afraid,” which provides poetic help and a Biblical promise to overcome fears I’ve offered the verse below to those who feel they can’t be forgiven:
Lord, I’m afraid
You’re tired of me.
I’m back again
confessing the same sin.
I meant well, but fell.
Can you forgive me again?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).