Aren’t we always having to let go of the old and embrace the new? Thank God that most of the time, it’s for the better. We are positive it is for our good. The newness is exciting and hopeful. Change comes with an exhale that life is finally going to be different. But what about when moving forward means leaving behind a life that was really good? A life that promised security and assurance as we know it? Change that seems worse instead of better?
We are foolish to think that we are untouchable from a difficult change kicking in the front door of life at any moment. One that was unplanned and smells of fear. A new way of life that doesn’t seem easier but harder. A life that aches with anxiousness rather than peace.
I never thought that I was going to be a single mother for a season while staring into the face of a hopeless marriage, but I was for 7 months.
I never thought that I would have to spend what feels like a lifetime without a daddy’s reassuring hug or affirming love, but I have.
I never dreamed that the 5 o’clock news would be a trigger for wartime memories and set my husband into a downward spiral, but it does.
I never could have believed that a razor’s edge would haunt my teenager’s mind, but it continues to do so to this very day.
Children, parents, relationships, and health. Careers, finances, school, and even church. It can all change in the very next minute and not always for the better. A change that feels like the heat of hell is breathing down our neck instead of the promise of heaven. A different life, one that no one would dream of.
You see, we all will face a new day that makes us long for days of old. If it’s a season of goodness, enjoy your time but don’t be so naive to think that life is unchangeable. Dreams are crushed. Marriages fail. Careers end. Relationships are strained. Hopelessness threatens. But we can never forget the truth.
The truth that even though life was easier yesterday, God is present in today.
The truth that when daydreams stir a longing for the past, God can provide new dreams for a new future that are unimaginable.
The truth that even when life disappoints and memories make our heart ache for what use to be, God is a firm rock in the days of darkness and will lift our feet from the miry clay.
My friends, we can not get stuck in the past, even if it was good. When those days were comfortable and rewarding, it’s so hard not to long for them again. When those days were enjoyable and satisfying, it makes the pain of today look like it’s not worth it. When consistency was the norm but now everything is so uncertain, it can cause doubt for the plans set for our future. But can I remind you of the truth that matters most of all?
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3
And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Proverbs 4:25
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
It’s so easy to preach to others that healing from the pain of the past is found when we let go and let God. We know this. We’ve experienced it. We believe it. Repentance or forgiveness, love and application moves us forward rather than wallowing in the stench of the past. But what about for those of us who are hanging on to the good? The good life that was much easier and much better before? When peace was evident and sleep was certain? A life that oozed joy and a strong faith?
Can I invite you to meet Jesus like never before? Can I introduce you to a Savior that is not only in the midst of pain and regret but one that is in disappointment and hopelessness for the future? Our God who doesn’t hold anything from us because we want today to be like yesterday?
We have to depend on the very promises of God that good will come again. We have to choke the life out of the longing for yesterday and live with eyes wide open for today. God will provide. He is faithful. There is hope for a new future. It may not be the same as it once was, but it will be yours and it will be good. You can believe that.
Certainly turn to the word of God when the pain of the past haunts your very existence but don’t forget to do the same when the goodness of yesterday makes you doubt the plans for today as well.