We took one last look at the church hall. It had been full of food and activity just an hour before, but now it was spotlessly clean. So we turned off the lights and left.

But in the quietness of the night, a tiny life form was breeding. You see, somehow we missed one small detail. We’d failed to empty the water in the contraption below the rice cooker lid. To our horror, the following week we discovered maggots in it!

Human beings aren’t infallible—no matter how hard we try. We desperately need grace, from God and from one another.

In 2 Kings 4:38-41 we find a young man who did his best to gather food for a group of prophets in a time of famine. But he mistook a poisonous ingredient as part of the recipe (2 Kings 4:39). It was an innocent mistake; nonetheless, many people were affected. Evidently, the group would have to go to bed hungry that night (2 Kings 4:40).

As we look back on our lives, all of us can identify with this anonymous servant. We have all made mistakes and missteps—sometimes out of good intentions, sometimes out of sinful impulses. And it affected not only us but also the people around us.

What was to be done in the case of the bad stew? Elisha instructed someone to bring him some flour. He threw it into the pot and then instructed that the meal be served. The mistake became an opportunity used by God to authenticate Elisha as His servant (2 Kings 4:41).

God is able to redeem our mistakes and turn them into opportunity to display His power and grace. As the psalmist wrote, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23). Come to Him. Admit your mistakes and see how He can transform them with a dash of His amazing grace.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 5:1-16