Boo‐boos. That is one of the terms for that time in a child’s life when they hurt themselves. Children from time immemorial have scraped, cut, and bruised themselves by running without watching where they were headed, focusing on playing with some toy while they are walking around, jumping off a ledge onto a hard surface, or perhaps playing with a sibling and coming out on the short end of the stick! Whatever happens, when there is an injury, the child comes running, crying, to the parent or caregiver, pointing to the newest boo‐boo.
All of us hope and pray that the injury is not serious enough to require emergency medical attention; and, for the vast majority of boo‐boos, we are correct. The kiss from Mom or Dad, the hug from Grammy or Papa and a decorated Band‐Aid will usually take care of the hurt.
Then too we have the child who gets injured and for whom medical attention is required. Broken arms and legs do not heal well on their own – they need the expert guidance of the physician to set the bone and secure it until the body is fully healed.
While adulthood gives some perspective to hurts and difficulties of childhood, simple aging does not eliminate the existence of boo‐boos nor does it stop the creation of new ones. Now, most of my boo‐boos do not result in physical injuries or marks for which a colored Band-Aid or designer cast is the remedy. [Okay, I did break my ankle when I fell on vacation in Alaska and that resulted in surgery with scars on both sides of my foot … so some of my boo-boos are actually physical, but the majority are notl]
Oh no, most of my boo-boos are much more subtle. They are much more longstanding, and they have significantly greater consequences if left to fester without repentance. And, they usually cannot be healed by my actions; rather, they need the expert hand of the Great Physician to attend to the wound.
- The temper flare‐up when I feel that I have been misused.
- The gossip passed from my lips under the guise of enlisting prayer partners.
- A sudden fit of blindness when I fail to lend a helping hand to someone in need and who is plainly in my field of vision.
- Doing something good but then being upset when I think that I have been ignored.
- And countless others … need I go on?
I expect that your boo‐boos are not the same as mine – we each are unique in our ability to err and not follow God’s will for our lives. But, I suggest that, ultimately, for each of us, it comes down to pride. Are we going to submit ourselves totally to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? In all things? At all times?
The goal of the Christian life is that we live so that we are transformed into the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ. While that is the goal, Jesus knows we are human and that we cannot live a life without boo‐boos.
In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young provides thoughtful daily devotions that are written as if Jesus is talking to us directly. For the devotion for May 9, she refers to Romans 8:28 and Micah 7:7 and then says:
Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error‐free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me and watch to see what I will do. [Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004.]
Yep, it all comes back to pride. I want to do it my way – or I don’t want to do what He commands – or I think I can accomplish it in my own strength – or … well it comes back to the focus on I/ Me/ My rather than Him.
All we see are the minute details of our own lives. We don’t see the effect our actions have on others. We don’t know how our words affect others for good, or bad, and we cannot anticipate what the future will be for anyone. We see our mistakes and lost opportunities, and sometimes we see good things that happened along the way. It is as if we are seeing the fabric of our lives on the backside of the fabric, the side where the knots are. (The picture below is of one of the quilts on display at the DAR Museum in Washington D.C.; it is a floral applique quilt that was created in 1840-41.)
God, however, sees the front of the fabric and sees the pattern that He has created for each of us. Read Psalm 139, especially verse 16, where the Psalmist is describing God’s intimate knowledge of him and saying:
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Our days were written in God’s book even before we were born. Clearly, our lives are the design that He created for us, and He will develop our lives according to His plan, including our boo-boos. In fact, sometimes what we may consider a boo-boo is transformed by God into the door to greater blessing than we could ever have imagined!
Praise the Lord that He is able to take my boo‐boos and use them for my learning, growth and ministry to others. He promises to take both our good and bad choices and use them as part of the fabric of our life in Him. (Picture below was taken at the Homestead Museum of the spinning wheel and quilt reflecting life on the Homestead in Cumberland County, Tennessee.)
Praise the Lord! The sinless One cares for me and He helps me overcome and heal from the boo‐boos of my life. There might be a scar or two, but that’s alright. Jesus has scars too, and His were from the nails that were meant for me!
Praise the Lord for His unfathomable love and grace.
Father, thank you for sending the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your obedience to the Father’s will and for your atoning sacrifice for me. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for quickening my heart and for your presence with me to guide and direct as I live for my Lord. Forgive the boo-boos that I have created and grant mercy as I continue to live my life so that I may bring glory to my God and my Savior