The Land of Beginning Again
I wish there were some wonderful place
Called “The Land of Beginning Again,”
Where all our mistakes
And all our heartaches
And all our poor selfish greed,
Could be dropped
Like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.
I wish we could come on it all unawares
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail,
And I wish that the one
Whom our blindness has done
The greatest injustice of all,
Could be at the gate
Like an old friend who waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.
—Louisa Fletcher Tarkington
I’m glad to say there is such a place as The Land of Beginning Again, and you can find it, no matter who you are or what your past has been. You’ll find that place in these verses from the Bible:
“God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. … if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins to him”—here is that place where you can drop the shabby old coat of your past life—”he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”1
That passage, like so many others in the Bible, contains a wonderful promise from your heavenly Father to you, His child whom He dearly loves. God has given you “very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.”2
God will back His promises with all of His power and ability, but there are conditions attached to these promises—conditions that you must meet. God sets His own terms, but how blessed you become when you meet God’s terms! When you submit to His conditions, the wealth of His blessings and riches come tumbling down on you. These are the keys that unlock the treasure vaults of Heaven: knowing and meeting the conditions attached to each promise.
God not only wills, but longs for you to have your every need supplied and the deepest desires of your heart fulfilled. King David wrote in the Psalms, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”3 But note the condition: “Delight yourself in the Lord.” God will give you the desires of your heart—He said so and it is so—but the terms must be met. First you delight yourself in Him by loving Him first and foremost and doing your best to please Him, and then He grants your desires.
God’s terms aren’t hard. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”4
So many wonderful things are promised in the Bible—forgiveness of sin, joy, peace, eternal life—that I couldn’t begin to list them all! Those promises are there for you and could change your life completely. But you must meet the conditions, and the first condition is that you come to God and humbly confess that you need His help and forgiveness.5 He can and will forgive anything, but only if you ask Him to.
God’s Word says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”6 Don’t be like Emmy the housekeeper who, when the woman she worked for asked her, “Emmy, did you sweep under the rug?” answered, “Yes, ma’am, I sweep everything under the rug!”
Things swept under the rug have a way of coming back to haunt us. It doesn’t pay to pretend all is well when it’s not, but if you will humbly accept God’s terms for forgiveness, you’ve got it! As soon as you confess you are a sinner and turn to Jesus Christ, the Savior, for help, He will come into your life and give you change and freedom like you’ve never known! “Since [God] did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?”7—including a new beginning!