I have a friend who’s gotten lost so often and so bad that he thinks it’s his lot in life. Not just lost trying to get from point A to point B, either. Lost as in trying to do the right thing and be the right person but somehow ending up doing and being the opposite. He says God hates him for this. He’s damaged goods now.
Me, I think we sometimes underestimate just how easy it is to lose our way in life. And, like my friend, we lead ourselves to believe that only bad people get lost. So if we’re lost, we’re bad.
And if we’re bad, then God doesn’t want us. Can’t use us, either. So the best we can do if we ever wander off the path is to try and find out way back and then just stumble along, heads down, in defeat.
But I don’t think so.
The great thing about the Bible isn’t just that it’s the word of God, but that it gives an honest portrayal of the people in it. And a quick look at the giants of both the Old and New Testaments tells us that people got lost back then, too. Adam and Eve got lost. So did Moses. David was called a man after God’s own heart, and he still got lost. Paul was lost before finding the Damascus road. Peter and John? Lost, too.
It happens. To all of us. No one is exempt.
Unusable? To God there is no such thing as unusable. We can all be used by Him, regardless of what we’ve done or what we haven’t. David committed unspeakable acts. God still loved him. Paul murdered thousands of Christians, but God still used him as the voice to speak to us all.
And damaged goods? Hey, we’re all damaged goods. There isn’t anyone alive who lives to his or her truest potential, who says and thinks and does exactly what is right and nothing else. Even Paul, that murderer reformed who was touched by the hand of God, fought daily with himself over what he should do and what he does anyway.
Yes, we’ll all get lost. We’ll take many wrong turns and end up in many places we’re not supposed to be. And we will hurt and suffer because of it.
But know this: the love and power of God is such that He will use every one of our wrong turns to bring us to the right place.