I was at one of my favorite places on earth – the keyboard, in the sanctuary of Okolona Christian Church. It was 2nd service, we had praised God with three songs, had taken Communion, and had celebrated our brand new sister in Christ. We had one more song to sing before the message - a gorgeous ballad titled Forever. Co-written and performed by Kari Jobe, Forever begins with a flowing melodic line played on piano. The first few measures went beautifully, until my hands lost their position on the keyboard. The result? A disaster of dissonance – a musical train wreck that lasted all of one beat, but felt like the title of the song - forever.
I knew every aspect of the music – the melody, the harmony, the repeated bridge that lead to the pinnacle of the song. I had practiced. I was prepared, focused and on-task. So went wrong? Nothing - I just made a mistake.
I’M HUMAN AND HUMANS MAKE MISTAKES.
Was I mortified? Yes! Did I rehash the wrong note throughout the day on Sunday? Yes! But not as much as I would have a few years ago. Over the years, I've learned to rely on some comforts.
Comfort #1: We all make mistakes. The first phrase in James 3:2 (NLT) states “Indeed, we all make many mistakes...” Oh the comfort those six words bring. James says everyone makes mistakes. All. Nobody is exempt. People have been making mistakes since God created man and woman. Eve ate the forbidden fruit. She and Adam hid from God. Jonah took a different path rather than going where God told him to go. Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied Christ. We are not the first generation of people to make blunders.
Comfort #2: God uses our mistakes for good. In Romans we read how we all have made mistakes and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We read in Chapter 8, verse 28 that He uses our mistakes for our good. Yet another comforting verse.
Comfort #3: When we make mistakes, we learn from it and move on. Philippians 3:13 tells us we must forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. The fact is that mistakes help us grow. That doesn't just apply to music – that applies to life.
Comfort #4: Our brothers and sisters in Christ are here for us. My one note clunker sparked much fun and laughter with our Worship Team. We laughed, poked fun at ourselves and each other, and shared a host of embarrassing moments. Don't misunderstand – it’s never okay to be unprepared. Luke 12:48 says “To whom much is given, much is required.” However, when we make an honest gaffe, we must forgive ourselves and move on. We have brothers and sisters in Christ to help us do just that.
Comfort #5: God has forgiven us. Again, in Romans, we’re told that we have been justified (or made right) through faith. I realize Paul is referring to mistakes of a more sinful nature than hitting a note on the keyboard, but we must remember that God's love, grace, and forgiveness covers all of us who have surrendered to Him.
One of my favorite lines in Your Love Never Fails (written by Chris McClarney & Anthony Skinner, copyright © 2008 Thankyou Music) states
...I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me every day
Your love never fails
GOD’S FORGIVENESS COVERS ALL
God never stops loving us. The only person in the Bible who never made a mistake is Jesus Christ himself. He was perfect and sinless, without blemish. Yet when we stumble, He is the first one to pick us up, dust us off, and remind us He died for us and He loves us.
So my friends, when we make a mistake we aren't alone. Maybe it's something minor, maybe something major, but God's forgiveness and grace covers all. He takes our junk and turns into treasures. He even takes musical mistakes and turns them into a sweet and beautiful melody!