I know I'm not the only one to do something dumb, but when it happens, you have to wonder "How did I do that?" A couple of weeks ago I jammed my big toe on the deck at our home (I blame my tri-focal lenses for that!). I could tell that I might lose my toenail, but all in all, the pain was decreasing daily and I thought I was on the mend. Unfortunately, on Sunday afternoon, while moving some tables at the church, I hit the toenail with a table leg, ripping it about 90% of the way off. Talk about pain! I made it through the rest of the day and went to my doctor on Monday morning. He removed the nail, told me to make sure it didn't get infected (I'm a diabetic - gotta watch these things) and said that the nail would grow back in 6-12 months.
Why am I telling you this? First, it's easy to blame the wrong thing for our problems. I said it was my tri-focal lenses that were the cause of the first injury. Actually, it was the fact that I was in too big of a hurry and I didn't scale the steps correctly. Second, I should have taken better precautions. Moving tables with flip flops on is always iffy, but to not have any protection on the toe exposed it to danger. Finally, it takes less time to do something damaging than it does to heal the situation.
Can you see the spiritual implications? We often blame others or situations for our own mistakes. We make choices that put us in harms way, or in a position of compromise. We could take better precautions by doing the right things but often choose a quicker way that does not require discipline. That can be costly. And when we fall from the place where God wants us to be (that's called sin), the damage that takes place can often take a long time to heal.
Here's the good news: God is in the life-healing business. He rebuilds us when we have experienced damage. We must come to Him just the way we are and experience His grace and forgiveness.