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How much experience do you have?

Oscar Wilde aptly reminds us, "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." Some of us have more "experience" - almost 'too much' experience! Why? We've made lots and lots of mistakes. We've allowed those mistakes to not only occur, but we've learned from them. We simply don't want to waste them - because in God's hands even our mistakes can become very meaningful experiences in our lives!

We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:4-8 MSG)

We are 'makers' of trouble in our lives - but God isn't going to waste those troubles. He will turn those troubles into opportunities for his truths to be made real in us. We aren't being transformed by removing the troubles all the time. We are being transformed because those troubles turn our eyes to Jesus and there is no better transformation possible. If you were to write a resume of sorts - one that reflects all your life experience, what would you exclude? There are way too many experiences we might think served no value - because we still only see them as mistakes. God saw them as opportunities as soon as we made them - then he began turning them within his hands until they were fashioned into experiences of his grace!

The moment we stop criticizing ourselves for our mistakes and acknowledge them as opportunities for his hand to forge something different out of them is the moment they begin to become meaningful experiences. Did you ever stop for a moment to consider that 'forge' is the beginning of the word 'forget'? Could it be there is a direct link between God placing that mistake in the forge and our ability to forget the mistake - seeing instead the experience which now is displayed with jewels of grace embedded in it because of his 'fashioning grace'? Just askin!

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