“Susan…are you going to be defined by your past…or by your future?”
That was God’s challenge to me following an evening of wrestling with God. I was assailed by thoughts as I listened to Pastor Philip De Courcy’s message at Kindred’s recent Men’s Retreat. He talked about among other things priorities…with time and family…and the most importantly…God.
Upon hearing this I was reminded of my own poor choices for many years. Perhaps it was because I had worked late this evening that I was especially sensitive to God’s gentle reminder. You see there was time in my life it was not uncommon for me to work 10, 11, 12 hour days. I didn’t give it a second thought. After all I wanted to do my job with excellence.
But God brought me to an end of my misplaced priorities. After doing what I thought was a job well…at the end of the day…it counted for precious little. While I was fast at work…my bosses and co-workers were home with families…living a balanced life.
I on other hand exchanged a spreadsheet for relationships. I exchanged preparing a report to studying God’s word and growing deep in my relationship with the Lord. I exchanged the eternal for temporary praise from people.
Hindsight is always 20/20. If only I knew then…what I know now…I might have avoided some of those pitfalls.
I then stared down the rabbit trail of why. Why I was so foolish and why did I make such bad choices. I got to thinking about my past. What had shaped me….what drove me. That’s much more than what I want to get in to here and now. But let it suffice…that life can be very painful.
Not only did feel the weight of my own sin…but also from those who had sinned against me. Feeling quite desperate and overwhelmed about the prospect of my life changing…I cried out to God. “I can do something about the present…I can do something about the future…through Your power, guidance, wisdom and strength. But I can’t do a blessed thing about the past. I feel so scared and broken.
Then God said, “Susan…yes you can do something about your past. You can let it go. Let go of those wrongs done to you. Let them go. I’ve got them securely in my hands…and I’ll handle it. Just as you received my forgiveness in my Son Jesus Christ…so too…you can give Me this. You gave me your sins…and I washed you white as snow. Give me your hurts and wrongs done to you. Give me your loneliness and pain and sorrow…I’ve got you covered. You see I do have good plan for you…a perfect plan I’m working out in you. My timeframe is a little different than yours…but you can trust me on this.”
God went on to bring it full circle…and showed me that in the past…I was focused on my past…and let it define my present. I had no vision of my future. And then I was born again…and behold all things were new.
Only now am I beginning to grasp a vision of His future plans for me. My victory…is not solely in heaven…but in here an now.
“Behold I have made all things new. You are a new creation in Christ. The old things have passed away. I have given you a future and hope. Susan…will you take hold that hope that is in Christ Jesus your Lord?”
Yes Lord I will…help me please.