In our backyard kickball games, the competition is sometimes intense. Given the fact that our field is unusually shaped—a big rock for first base, a third base (the middle tree of a group of three trees) is closer to home plate than first base is, the neighbor’s fence jutting out into right field—there are sometimes disagreements. Imagine that!

Of course, the quickest way to resolve some of these disagreements is to call, “Do over!

But do-overs never work out well. One team might be happy with the results while the other team still feels they got an unfair advantage to get their way.

So, too, with God. He does not allow do-overs. Ever. Nor would I want Him to allow me to have a do-over. There are things I have learned from painful episodes that have made me stronger, wiser, more empathetic, and more merciful than I would have been if I missed out on those experiences. If I could have called “do-over” I wouldn’t be the same person today.

In 2 Kings 6, the king of Israel wanted a do-over. He had an opportunity to kill some Aramean soldiers, but Elisha said, “No, give them dinner instead.” The entire Aramean army returned later and blockaded the capital city of Samaria, making for horrendous living conditions in the city. The king said, “If I only I would’ve rejected Elisha’s advice and killed those soldiers I wouldn’t be in this tough spot now. I want a do-over!”

But here’s what the king—and all of Israel with him—would have missed out on if they got their do-over. If the king got a do-over only a few Aramean soldiers would have been killed. But by not getting his do-over, the entire Aramean army was disarmed, defeated, and disgraced as they ran home scared and naked (see 2 Kings 7:5-7, 14-15).

NOT getting a do-over led to a greater victory! Not getting your do-over will also allow God to do something greater in you and through you. If you got your chance at a do-over for something in your past you wouldn’t be as strong, wise, empathetic, or merciful as you are today.

Check out what God says—

  • I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11, Message)
  • And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God. (Romans 8:28, Living Bible)

Don’t ask God for a do-over; instead, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what He’s doing in your life because you didn’t get the do-over. I promise you that God is doing something far, far greater—instead of defeating a few enemies, He’s defeating whole armies!

Feel free to share what lessons you may have learned by NOT taking a do-over.

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