Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret,... (2 Corinthians 7:10a)
It reminded me of another verse from our last Wednesday night's study,
They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zecharaiah 12:10b)
Those who remember their salvation experience; that moment when God first opened the eyes of our hearts and brought us into His Kingdom, may remember that the most common manifestation of that moment is tears. Tears of joy over what Jesus has done, but tears of grief over what made it necessary -- the individual sin of each one of us. It is the stark and sudden realization that Jesus died because of the way I am and the way I have been.. He was pierced because of me, and the sorrow of that moment of realization is overwhelming -- Godly sorrow.
I remember a woman who had just come to faith. She was the same age as me. But she asked, with eyes full of tears, "John, I feel like my entire life up to now has been wasted. Has it been?" What could I say? No, it had not been wasted. God had known about this moment since before the foundation of the world, and it had all been according to His will, His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2). I was reminded of that wonderful phrase from the book of Esther, and said that who knows but that God had brought her all this way, to this point in her life, ...for such a time as this.
I too, from time to time, used to wonder what my life would have been like had God not waited 45 years to reveal Himself to me.. But then I catch myself and say, "No... He brought me to that point of Godly sorrow at the time of His choosing, and that must necessarily have been exactly the right time.
So there is no regret.