I recently finished reading a book by Ruth Graham, In Every Pew Sits A Broken Heart: Hope for the Hurting. Ruth Graham, daughter of Ruth and Billy Graham, tells her personal story of mistakes, failures and ruins. She tells of her journey of faith, trust, and hope in God. She starts by pointing out that there may be many people around us who are hurting and we don't even know it...they have covered their pain, covered their problems, in an attempt to create a "picture perfect" illusion of their lives.
How many of us have hidden hurts? How many of us hold these inside, slowly dying, when others around us would be willing to reach out and help, if we only let them? How many of us look at the mistakes we've made and think there is no possible way anything good could ever come out of the ruins of our lives? I think of my life right now...my marriage is a ruin, my relationship with my mother is in ruins, and sometimes I feel so very alone. I have confided in certain friends, so my hurts aren't necessarily totally hidden....but perhaps the depths of them are. Allowing others into our hurts, allowing godly counsel from them...this could very well make a difference in how we deal with our problems.
How about allowing God to take those ruins and make something beautiful of them? Sure, it may take time. But haven't you ever noticed that when you look back on something bad...it doesn't always seem so bad, that you have learned something profound from that moment in your life? God can use all our mistakes, our bad choices, the things we do that hurt ourselves or others....and turn them into something worthwhile. Perhaps those experiences will help make us a better person...more caring, more loving, more positive. Perhaps our experiences can later help someone else who is struggling in the same way. Perhaps we can share what we learned to help them make better thought out decisions...or at least to stand by their side with love and support as they go through their own ruins.
Perhaps out of the ashes of our mistakes, our choices, our pain; something beautiful can grow....