The Bread Of Regret Is Filling

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on

Regrets Can Actually Be Blessings 

by Eric Elkin

Under [the cedar] every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind.
— Ezekiel 17: 23b

How would you finish this sentence, “If only we had…” 

These four words invite the regrets of our lives to come to the surface and cloud our minds. All those burdens we carry but are told to leave behind. For most people, though, it only takes a little encouragement to discover regrets are not forgotten, just slumbering within our souls.

Some people say they have no regrets, but I don’t believe them. A person without regrets once told me not to let a decision become a regret. But he never told me how. Most people learn to push their sorrows down and pretend they do not exist.

If I were asked to complete this sentence, I could finish it in a multitude of ways. My regrets are not buried, they remain on the surface and haunt me almost every day. Some have been in my mind since the 1st grade. Others got added along the way. Few find their way out.

The one thing which keeps me sane is most times I realize my regrets are my manna. What is manna? It’s the bread for the journey that the Lord has given you to eat.

In a strange way playing over the regrets in my head, more often than not, remind me of the blessings in my life. And, how all the decisions causing remorse shaped me into the person I am.


A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
— George Bernard Shaw

I left a job that I Ioved to get married. When the decision to go was made, I was told not to regret that choice. There has not been a day where I did not in someway regret that decision. If I had remained, my professional life would be completely different. It was a job I was better suited for, given my talents and personality.

Processing the, “If only I had…” thoughts, though, always leads to manna. Had I remained, I would have never moved to New York. Perhaps, I would have lost my spirit of adventure. Staying put would have had a negative impact of on my marriage. Then there were all those amazing experiences and people. None of which would happen if not for a regrettable decision.

Some people learn from the right decision. I learn from the bad ones. The regrettable ways I have treated people in the past shapes all future interactions. (It’s one of the reasons, I don’t mind my guilt.) 

My regrets and my decisions are the bread the Lord has given me to eat. Some could have been better, others could have been worse. Either way, it’s amazing how the Lord feeds us along the way.

Click to read Exodus 16: 2-15

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you finish the sentence, "If only I had...?"
  • Where do you place your regrets? In your thoughts or buried in your heart?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • How did God provide for you through your difficult times?

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