Saturday, May 13, 2017

Caught by the Past

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.  – Isaiah 43:18-19
Have you ever had a good experience and then expected something similar to happen? Maybe you had a good friendship with someone and hoped to duplicate it in a new relationship. Or, maybe you experienced success at work or in sports and believed it would happen exactly as it did previously. You were disappointed when things didn’t turn out the same; maybe you were even depressed or angry. You felt let down. Did you blame God? Did you blame someone else for thwarting your dreams? If so, you are caught by the past!
A friend of mine saw God miraculously provide for someone’s medical expenses. He fully expected God to do the same for him. When God did not “answer his prayer” the way he expected, he was disappointed and became angry with God. He never let God out of his box to do something new and beautiful. Do you need to let God out of your box?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to repeat wholesome relationships or edifying experiences. What is dangerous is when we demand they be repeated—or else. We fix our hope on the duplication, and when it doesn’t occur, we get irritated, instead of trusting God that He loves us and is in control.
Your past experiences can inhibit you from focusing on your present responsibilities and relationships. Be thankful for your past. Learn from your past. But let it go—don’t insist on duplicating it. Ask God to help you live fully in the present with fresh faith.

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