April 21, 2022
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Our grandson was gaining weight, and boy, he was going to be glad! (Unlike his grandfather who happens to find weight gain depressing.) Yeah, he was soon going to be over 20 pounds. Well, that meant his parents would 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 where you are 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 just keep looking back at where you've been, especially when what you see is the hits, the hurts, 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 and I had that same predictable experience at baggage claim. Not a missing suitcase. I'm talking about the mystery suitcase. You know, that one that just keeps going around and around on the baggage carousel, and 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," victim-itis.
There was a time 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 a hopeful alternative from the Bible. It's one I've 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, he 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 am doing a new thing" He says. But those who insist on rehashing the old things are going to be looking the wrong way and they're going to 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. Release them to Him and to His justice. Leave the 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 two thousand 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 rewired 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. That's the rebirth miracle He made possible by dying to cancel and forgive every sin you've ever committed.
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 a whole lot better to see where you're going than where you've already been. Just ask my grandson.
The new beginning can be today when you say, "Jesus, I'm yours." We'd like to help with that. Go to our website. It's ANewStory.com. See, hope has a name. His name is Jesus.