When You Drop the Ball, Just Remember… // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

A few weeks ago, a friend passed away before I had the opportunity to visit her. I felt terrible about missing this important ministry moment, especially as, in hindsight, the things that kept me from it, though urgent, were not nearly as important. To top it off, I was leaving town to attend the Wesleyan Church General Conference at the time of her funeral and unable to officiate. I felt so bad about letting this precious family down.

Experiences like this strengthen my resolve to be more aware and present for others, as much as possible, in their time of need. Excuses don’t cut it. We need to admit our shortcomings, and work on improving them.

However, when we drop the ball, we need to give ourselves some grace. After all, isn’t grace and mercy at the heart of the Gospel?

Sometimes, we are good at extending grace to others, while, simultaneously beating ourselves up.

After expressing my regret to a mutual friend, he sent me an encouraging note: “I believe you were bothered by not being available, as I was, at a certain time, but as you well know, God had a bigger plan and things were taken care of.”

He then shared the following poem, which ministered to my spirit. Note, especially the last stanza:

When you feel tested and tried

And all worn out inside,

Just remember. . .

God is by your side.

When you have lost your best friend

And it seems like the end,

Just remember. . .

Another He will send.

When you feel like a good cry

But you just don’t know why,

Just remember. . .

God is standing by.

When the day seems to grow cold

Because you’re getting old,

Just remember. . .

Your hand He will hold.

When there’s a heart you can’t mend

That needs someone to tend,

Just remember. . .

Jesus, too, is their friend.

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