top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Bald Believer

Might Have Been Messes

Psalm 81:11–16

11But my people would not hearken to my voice; And Israel would none of me. 12So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: And they walked in their own counsels. 13Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, And Israel had walked in my ways! 14I should soon have subdued their enemies, And turned my hand against their adversaries. 15The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: But their time should have endured for ever. 16He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: And with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.


For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’[1]

Oh, the profound truth expressed in those words from John Greenleaf Whittier! To exist with constant regret is a miserable state indeed.

If I had only been less selfish.

If stubbornness had not been my way.

If only I had expressed my love before she went away.

I could have, I should have, but I didn’t!

Aren’t those dreadful things to say?

Believe me, I know the feeling well. I think I hold a black belt in regret.

According to our Psalmist, the children of Israel had to live with such remorse.

Notice the highlighted words from our reading.

Psalm 81:16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: And with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

They could have been satisfied.

Things could have been much sweeter.

They could have had God’s finest.

Oh, the waste they found in their haste!

God had offered to fill their mouths if they had just opened them wide and waited.

Psalm 81:10 I am the Lord thy God, Which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

They insisted on their own way, they dictated their own when and now must live with their question, “what might have been?”

Please hear this bald believer as I beg you to follow a different path. Consider carefully the consequences of the things you do and say. Don’t leave undone the good deeds, you may not get another chance. Follow God and wait on him! He alone knows what will satisfy your heart and can fulfill it! You don’t have to say, “it might have been!”

Lest I leave someone without hope, let me remind you that we serve a God that can take our “might have been” messes and make them into masterpieces.

I am trying to let go of my “might have been messes” so that I can see his best, will you join me?

Readings for 7/13/20

[1] Whittier, J. G. (Ed.). (n.d.). The Writings of John Greenleaf Whittier (Vol. 1, p. 153). Medford, MA: Perseus Digital Library.

39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page