“The pain of our past cannot be undone, but it can be healed.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 3, 2022
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, NKJV
When my first child was born, I distinctly remember feelings of both awe and fear, perhaps in equal measure. On the one hand, I was profoundly moved by the possibilities that lay before them–opportunities to bring untold beauty and goodness into the world through their life and acts of love. At the same time, the reality that they were entering a broken and distorted world, and that that brokenness would undoubtedly lead to their experience of deep relational and physical pain, was almost more than my newly minted parental heart could bear.
As the years have unfolded, I’ve found that instead of a fleeting and momentary emotion, in many ways this is the perpetual emotional state of parenthood. Each day we awaken to journey with our children into the unknown, walking alongside them through whatever that day may bring. A few days ago, my wife and I journeyed with our youngest child through a day we’d all love to do over!
Our son is a typical 8 year old, filled with seemingly endless reservoirs of energy. This is usually a great gift and joy to behold, yet when it led to his face and front teeth engaged in a losing battle with a coffee table, it was anything but a blessing! A few hours at the emergency dentist had him patched up and feeling better, though his mother and I are still reeling from the experience!
As I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on this experience and attempting to process the emotion surrounding it, I’ve found myself struggling with the finality and permeance of life’s moments of trauma and tragedy. My impulse is to roll back the clock, to have a do over, to push the table one inch to the side or be there to soften my child’s blow. And yet, as his wounds remind us, what happened has happened, and forward is the only way we can journey.
I share this story because, though the details of your life are different than mine, there is a universal emotion contained in this moment as a parent. The longer you live, the more you encounter the brokenness and pain of our world, seen in your own life and in those that you love. I am confident that you can immediately think of several moments in which you desperately long to have a do over, to take back something you said or change just a single decision.
The pain of our past cannot be undone, but it can be healed. This is the heart of the Christian story and the mission of Christ to our broken world. He does not come to undo or cover up our pain, regret, or shame. He sees it, draws near to it, and transforms it by his loving care. In the same way, we must not live in the paralysis of regret, but instead receive every moment, both of comfort and trial, as an invitation into transformation, believing even our most unwanted moments can be healed when they are held in the hands of our Lord.
Father, be near to us in our trial and pain, and keep us from lingering in anxious regret, instead trusting that you come to make all things new, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What moments from your past are you most plagued by? Instead of pushing them into the dark recesses of your heart and mind, how can you bring them to the surface and invite Christ to transform them by his mercy and grace?
Shane & Shane: Praise To The Lord (Joyful, Joyful)
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