I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.
--Joel 2:25 (NIV)
No one can state that they have no regrets in life. We have all done something we would much rather not talk about. Some of us can even remember exactly what we did because the act left long lasting effects upon us—mental and physical scars.
Carl (not his real name), at age 14 years decided to steal some expensive electronic equipment from a department store though he had enough money to pay for the item. Before he could get away on his bicycle, he was met by a police woman. He was immediately arrested for shoplifting. Because this was not his first time but his fourth arrest, he was placed in juvenile custody until he turned 18. Now he was away from his brother and sister, mother and father as well as his friends for nearly four years.
While in detention, Carl realized that he had disappointed his family, his many friends and most of all, God. It was at this point Carl decided to place his life in God’s hands. On his release from juvenile detention, God worked wonders in his life.
Frank, who everyone called “The Donut Man”, saw possibilities in Carl and hired him. Carl remained employed without getting into trouble with the law or his employer until in his fifth year Frank came to him with a proposal.
“Carl,” said Frank. “I’d like to talk to you.
“Yes, sir,” responded Carl nervously.
“I’m an old man and have no relatives. When I came to country from Germany sixty years ago, I had nothing. All of my relatives were killed in Nazi concentration camps. This donut business has been very good to me. I’ve saved enough to live comfortably. But it’s time for me to retire. I’m 80 years old. So I want you to run this business and be the owner.”
Carl was in shock. “I can’t do this because I don’t have enough money to buy it from you!”
Frank asked: “Do you like this business?”
“Yes, sir. I do.”
“Well then, it is yours! I have arranged for you to have enough money for operating costs to carry you over for five years. I trust that you will do what is right for this little shop. I’ve watched you ever since I hired you. You are kind to customers no matter their station in life. You do not cheat people. You are honest. You have integrity. I’ve left money around at times to see if you’d take it. You never did take the money.”
“Sir, if you only knew who I was.”
“Oh, I know what you did. But when I observed you over about a year and a half I could tell you were a changed person. We all make mistakes we aren’t proud of. I have too. So now, will you accept my offer?”
With tears in his eyes, Carl agreed signing the paperwork to become “The Donut Man”. Soon Carl met then married Jenny a devoted Christian woman. Her passion for making and selling good donuts, her Christian faith and the love of God rivaled Carl’s. They both reached out to others who were hurting, broken and at low points needing faith and hope with a cup of coffee and a donut. In five more years, their little donut shop increased to six. To thank God for His blessings, they changed the name from “Donut Shoppe” to “The Master’s Donut Shoppe.”
God never gives up on us! Even when we made poor decisions and choices in our past that leaves us with regrets, God holds no grudges. We choose how we will live. We can choose to continue to live destructively, whine and blame others about our circumstances or run to Christ believing that He WILL take care of you. He will take care of you in ways you cannot begin to imagine! He is forgiving, loving and merciful no matter what you did.
Know this—that God has a great and glorious future for those who put their trust in Him!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am here broken and hurting but with a humble heart to lay down before Your feet my sinful past. Use me as You will! Amen.