Monday, September 3, 2012
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Our grandson's gaining weight, and is he ever going to be glad! (Unlike his grandfather who happens to find weight gain depressing.) But he's soon going to be 20 pounds. And that means his parents will turn his car seat around. No more looking out the rear window. That's a great feeling! You know, you don't have to keep looking back at where you've already been. It's all about looking at where you're going - now.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Life in the Backwards Seat."
Now, that's a change that's good news for even us grown up kids; turning your "seat" around I mean. Moving past that depressing view you get when you keep looking back at where you've been, especially when what you see is the hits, the hurts and the hard times in your past. Every time I look through that window, clouds roll in and start to cover the sun. If I look back a lot, I'll end up looking down even more.
I flew to a meeting recently and I had that same predictable experience at baggage claim. Not a missing suitcase. I'm talking about the mystery suitcase. The one that just keeps going round and round on the baggage carousel, nobody ever claims it. We just keep watching that same old bag go by again and again.
Well, sadly, too many folks live their life that way - watching the same old baggage over and over again, and triggering those all-too-familiar - and often disabling - feelings of resentment, anger, depression, "poor me," and victim-itis.
Not too long ago, my wife and I were talking with a woman who had been hurt and wounded quite a bit. And as she retold it, we could watch her visibly wilt. I had to share with her a bold and hopeful alternative from the Bible. It's one I have fallen back on so many times. It's a "catch me, I'm falling" prescription for us when the old baggage circles back on our radar.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 43:18-19, God says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! It is springing up before you. Do you not perceive it?" Now, "Dwell." That's an interesting word. Don't live in, don't camp out on, don't stay in what happened in the past. The enemy of my soul, the devil, loves to have me living in the past, because it can't be changed. And dwelling on what can't be changed equals despair.
Now, while our enemy keeps pointing backwards, our Savior keeps pointing to what's ahead. "I'm doing a new thing" He says. But those who insist on rehashing the old things will be looking the wrong way and they'll miss God's new thing.
Now, God doesn't ask us to deny the past. But He tells us we don't have to be defined by our past. He invites us to release all the hurts - and all the hurters - to Him to leave justice and payback to Him. To open up the locked closet doors of your past, to drag all that's ugly there into the light and face it once and for all, but with Jesus standing there by your side. And then let the healing begin.
For 2,000 years, wounded people have found Jesus to be the Lord of New Beginnings. See, first, the Bible says He makes us a "new creation in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17) - with re-wired desires, self-worth, hopes and a passion to live pure. He says, "The old has gone; a new life has begun." That's the rebirth miracle He made possible by dying to cancel and forgive every sin you've ever committed - including mine.
Jesus forgives what no one else can forgive and He heals what no one else can heal. With Jesus running things, your life becomes what He's going to do for you and through you - rather than what others have done to you. You really can turn your seat around. It's much better to see where you're going than where you've already been. Just ask my grandson.
You may be at a point where you're ready for a new beginning - where the hurts and the failures of the past no longer will define who you are. That is when it's time for Jesus, who died for all the sin and all the hurts of the past. He heals the brokenhearted; He forgives every sin, and He is the Lord of new beginnings. If you're ready for that, say, "Jesus, I'm Yours beginning today."
Go to our website. Check out there the information I've put there about how to begin your personal re-birthing relationship with Him. YoursForLife.net. Hope has a name; the name is Jesus.