A remarkable story in Isaiah today. The king was told that he was going to die tonight. The king turned to God, asked for forgiveness and mercy. God is so touched by the request and sincerity of the king’s prayer that God not only heals the king but grants him fifteen more years of life. To prove this, God backs up the shadow on the stairs ten steps. The shadow on the stairs would be like a sundial where the shadow of sun backs up ten hours. In ancient terms, rewind!
Well, maybe rewind is not ancient to many of us but there are some among us who do not know what rewind is. Let me give you a clue. When you go to school you are asked to bring a No. 2 yellow, soft lead p _ _ _ _ _. What you are thinking is wrong. For all of us ancient folks we know it is not a pencil. It is the rewind tool for our cassette tapes. You plug in the erasure end to the little white plastic gear and you rewind your tape. Teachers were never asked by a student to find them a pencil. Rewind tools were a must, so we always had one on us, no matter how short.
Point is, sometimes in our lives we wish we would have a rewind tool. Oh, we may not call it a tool. But we might say, “I wish I could take those words back!” or “How could I have been so stupid.” Or “Open mouth, insert foot.” We cringe. We turn red. How are we ever going to live through this? I wish I had a rewind for life.
Well, you do!! It comes from God. It means humbling ourselves first in the presence of God and asking for forgiveness and another chance to do better. God will always be generous and grant forgiveness to those who ask. Then, it is asking forgiveness of those we have hurt. Knowing they may be suffering so much from what we said that they may not want to grant us forgiveness. This is where courage comes in. It is allowing them to be angry at us until such a time they can forgive us.
Remember, if you were not patient with your rewind tool you ended up with a rat’s nest of tape that was no good. You are good, even if you think things are messed up, God is in control. Let Him straighten it out.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen