Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 8, 2018
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3
Have you ever struggled with letting go of unanswered questions about something that happened in your past? Have you ever thought that if God would just allow a particular event to happen in your life that you could finally be happy? If so, this story will encourage you.
About ten years ago I went through a rather odd time of transition. Rather than taking off without makeup to run to Wal-Mart, as I’ve always done, I turned into the clone of a seventeen-year-old girl, only with a few more wrinkles and a lot more anti-aging cream.
Also, like a teen, I started spending more time in front of the mirror primping, fixing, smoothing, and shaping and wondered what I would do when I turned totally grey. Unfortunately, I also spent far too much time complaining about my age since I was just around the corner from the big “four-oh!” I imagine those closest to me noticed a new insecurity about my age creeping into my conversation, but they weren’t the only ones taking notice.
God noticed too.
“Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:4).
There are times when I know I hear Him speak into my spirit; other times I’m not sure. But one afternoon during this bout of “time of transition” as I like to call it, it was clear God wanted my attention. It was one of those moments when He caught me off guard; I wasn’t expecting His still, small voice. Just as I bowed my head to pray, He beat me to the punch with a rebuke: “I want you to stop complaining about your age. You’re stealing my moments.”
I knew exactly what He meant, but the Holy Spirit went on to provide extra-added interpretation:
“Shana, these are my moments that I’ve given you. When you’re complaining about how old you are, you’re looking back to the past in regret and despairing of the future. If you’re longing for something you used to have, you’re not embracing my now. Therefore, you’re stealing the moments I’ve created—those that I’m working in.”
In the same way my complaints about my age chained me to the past and prevented me from experiencing the joys of the present, not letting go of unanswered questions about the past does the same.
There’s a gentle balance between grieving the past well so that we can move on to greater maturity and hope—and holding onto the past and refusing to move on. Sadly, there have been times when I have done the latter, and it created nothing but heartache and pain.
If we refuse to relinquish our questions about the past and demand answers about things we can’t change, we’ll miss out on the joy of today and hope for the future. Spending life looking through the rearview mirror brings emotional pain. Regretting the past and fearing the future brings torment but trusting God with our unanswered questions brings peace.
“. . . I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
PrayerLord, I praise you that you are at work in every moment of life. Help me to trust you with every moment, even those that are in the past. Amen.
ApplicationAre you stealing God’s moments by complaining or by longing for something that once was? Ask the Lord to help you fully live in the present where He is at work.
Related ReadingIsaiah 43:18-19; 1 Peter 5:8; Proverbs 15:13
Post/Tweet todayRegretting the past and fearing the future brings torment, but trusting God with our unanswered questions brings peace. #livinginthemoment #WisdomHunters
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