Here we end the year 2015. Facebook has been creating for its users memory pages from the pictures posted this year. For the most part, people do not post pictures of terrible memories, of failures, of heart-stomping losses, of disastrous choices. Yet, we often carry those pictures in our minds and hearts. There is a time to remember … and a time to forget.
This is what the Lord says, He who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters, “Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
Sometimes, in order for God to do “a new and better thing” in our lives, we need to shed the burden of our failures. That does not mean we forget lessons learned in them. It simply means we lay down the guilt and unforgiveness, blame and bitterness which can sometimes accompany them. Satan would love for us to hold on to those with closed fists. Reminding us of how “unworthy” we are, how “useless” or “flawed” we are causes us to shut down spiritually. This pernicious thinking sets us on the shelf, which is exactly where Satan wants us – – spiritually neutered.
Obviously, that is not what Jesus wants, is it? “Go ye”, He commanded (Matthew 28:19). “Love one another” (John 13:34), He said. We can’t do that if we are holding on to the debris of our past.
As a dad, you are probably familiar with the daily chore of taking out the trash. Lovely privilege, isn’t it? But, it’s inescapable for yours and your family’s good health and growth.
On this last day of the old year, let’s “take out the trash”, empty our souls of those things which have outlived their spiritual usefulness. It’s sort of like “spiritual Spring Cleaning”! If a memory is drawing us closer to God, we should keep it. If it is keeping us mired in our own junkyard of self-pity, enslaved in our own Egyptian bondage, we should trash it.
Make a heartfelt confession over anything previously unconfessed. One heartfelt confession with repentance is sufficient. There is no need for spiritual regurgitation and self-flagellation. Tie it up. Take it to the foot of the Cross. Leave it there.
Remember that you don’t have to hold in your right hand completion of a thing in order to let go of something inferior you hold in your left. Your God is He who makes a way through the sea, as He did for the Hebrew children fleeing Egypt. Were those waters of the Red Sea not “mighty”? Oh yes, they were! If you believe that He is the Waymaker, let go.
And then, open your hands to a new year of promise, of hope, of rebuilding, of restoration. Look for His new road through the wilderness, His river in the desert. “Will you not be aware of it?” It’s coming! Open your hands and your hearts to receive it!
Do you know what this is? It is “walking by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). It is the resplendent walk. Let’s get started.
Gena is first and foremost a daughter of the King, part of the Bride of Christ. She is also a wife, mother, part-time public school educator (professional staff development), university professor, Bible teacher, and musician. She blogs “almost-daily” at resplendentdaughter.blogspot.com .