what to do when you make a mistake


I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?  Jeremiah 32:27

Can God truly take our mistakes and turn them around? 

I only know what I've experienced, but I say yes. I've seen it happen over and over again.  I make a stupid mistake--maybe willful, or perhaps simply thoughtless--and God takes my mistake and redeems it.

Like the time I sent my passport in for renewal way too close to the departure time for an overseas mission trip that I was leading. I panicked and fretted and berated myself for my stupidity-- and then I got my renewed passport back in a week, instead of the usual 4-6 weeks.

"Is anything too hard for Me?"

Let me share the most recent example.  I just changed jobs and left behind my employer-provided policy.  (You don't realize how expensive insurance is until you have to pay for it yourself, let me tell you.)

We did some research (probably not enough, but shopping for health insurance is about as much fun as getting a root canal) and settled on a plan.  Two days before my workplace insurance ran out, we realized we had overlooked fine print that made the new plan unacceptable. At literally the eleventh hour, we found another plan that was affordable and would offer enough coverage.

But OH NO! the broker told us it would take up to a month to approve us.  How could we run the risk of going a month without health insurance? 

Then **miraculously** the company changed their minds and approved us after all, so there would be no gap in coverage. 

Plot twist! We got the temporary cards, and they still showed a start date of a month hence!  Hubs called the company and insisted that he had been told our coverage would start right away, and we needed cards to show the immediate start date.  "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do," the agent repeated robotically. 

After a final flurry of calls and emails, he got the written approval we needed and there was no gap in our insurance coverage. 

This experience reaffirmed lessons that are both spiritual and practical. But mostly it showed me once more that nothing is too hard for God.

First, the spiritual lesson: God is faithful and he can do it.  He is the author of the universe, the Alpha and Omega.  In Him we have our life and breath and being (Acts 17:)  He brought all creation out of nothing. Can he not move a piece of paper from here to there if he wants to?  Change the date on an insurance policy? (That's a rhetorical question, and the answer is YES HE CAN.)

Please understand me, I am not recommending being irresponsible by any means. Don't test God.  Don't wait too late to renew your passport or get insurance. I'm just reaffirming that if you make a mistake, immediately ask God for help.  Even when we doubt and lose faith, he is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13.) Lean on the promises of scripture.

Yes, there is a practical lesson too:

  1. Everyone hates to hear this, but honestly, READ THE FINE PRINT.
  2. Make sure you get your answer in writing. Verbal approval will not help you when it's your word against theirs. 
  3. Do your own research. One of the brokers we talked to gave us information that was simply wrong--we went back to her and she admitted that she had forgotten that particular provision had changed. 
  4. Don't take no for an answer. It may take a few phone calls and emails, but there is almost always someone who can help you. You just have to persevere. Be polite, be humble, but be persistent. There are many good people who love to help someone out of a jam.

Finally, have faith in God!  He loves you and promises never to leave you or forsake you. Things can go terribly wrong in this life where there are so many opportunities for missteps and wrong decisions.  But if God is with us, who can be against us? 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  Please share, we'd love to hear about it!


Leave a comment