“Every hurt, every incident, every heartache, every pain has laid the groundwork for new levels of blessings coming your way. But we can’t receive God’s grace, if our hands are full holding onto yesterday’s hurts.”
It’s difficult to drive while constantly looking in your rearview mirror. We need to realize that everything we have experienced in life so far has prepared us for our future. Every hurt, every incident, every heartache, every pain has laid the groundwork for new levels of blessings coming your way. But we can’t receive God’s grace, if our hands are full holding onto yesterday’s hurts.
Negative things happen to us. People betray us, break our heart, we suffer from financial pitfalls or health issues – and we tend to carry it around with us – simmering in the back of our minds, taking time every now and again to grumble and complain about it. But holding onto yesterday’s garbage, keeps us from experiencing the new things that God wants us to do in our life.
Dwelling on our mistakes, living with guilt – doesn’t make anything better. It’s time to cut it loose, surrender your baggage and let it go. You may drop it today, but be tempted to pick it back up again later on. Letting it go doesn’t mean you are weak or that you don’t care. It means you trust God enough to take care of you.
We tend to be complainers, unsatisfied with what we have, quick to blame others, ourselves, our leaders or God– when we don’t get what we think we deserve.
Spiritually, we hunger and thirst for God, but so many times we look for him in all the wrong places. We fear that the things we have done wrong have created such a sinkhole – and that God could never love us or forgive us that much.
How many times have we started something and half way through questioned ourselves? We begin playing the what if game – what if I fail, what if people criticise me, what if I’m not smart enough, prepared enough, old enough, young enough … what if God doesn’t help me?
On our personal journey thru life – there are some attitudes and emotions that stand in our way of trusting God, one of them is control. Either we want to be in control or we allow others to control us. We hold on because we don’t believe God will provide for us. Another is Comfort. We become comfortable and set in our ways. It’s so much easier to watch tv or check our social media pages than it is to follow our dreams. And the last one is certainty. We want to know the outcome before starting or completing any journey.
So we hold onto our baggage because it’s what we know. We spend more time and effort hanging onto it because we either don’t want to let go, or we don’t know how to release it. So how do we let it go? To begin with, we stop talking about it, stop thinking about it, stop reliving it over and over again in our minds. When we spend our time telling everyone about our failures, our problems and our mistakes, people start avoiding us. Holding on to the past – pushes people and opportunities away.
Turn it over to God, say “God I don’t understand why this has happened, but i’m not going to keep holding on to this, I trust you Lord and I am going to focus on my future.” It’s time to quit looking back. God wants to give you something new but you have to let go of the old. Focus your energies on forgetting what happened yesterday and plan a better tomorrow for yourself.
Our God is one who gives us talents and skills to tend gardens and bring plants and flowers to life. God leads us into situations and experiences that mold and change us . Like the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly – once we grow wings of faith, there is no going back into the cocoon. Real change always happens when something old or obsolete is cast off and let go – like the cocoon and something new and spectacular (Like wings) takes its place. Keep telling yourself, I’m moving forward, the past does not equal the future.
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:22
We all have baggage, things that could make us bitter, discouraged and negative. The difference between people who are contented and those who are not – is that joyful people have learned this principle – learning from the past mistakes and then letting it go, drop it, release it, leave it in God’s hands and keeping their eyes focused on the journey ahead.
With each achievement, recognize God’s gifts for what they are. Receive them withopen arms. The Lord will supply you with everything you need for your journey. Grumbling and complaining isn’t tolerated. Gratitude, gratefulness and thanksgiving are the way to receive God’s gifts and blessings.
God doesn’t force us to change, but sometimes he nudges us in that direction. We are called to let go of the old us and take hold of the new us. Each of us has a powerful choice – we can hold onto the heartache and grief of yesterday or we can create our own future with God leading the way. When we let go and let god – we wake up each morning with a blank sheet of paper and a heart filled with god’s grace. The choice is yours.
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
by Sally Larkin Green
… There are times in each of our lives when God will call us out to do something unusual, to do something that makes us feel uncomfortable in order to make his kingdom great. You don’t have to preach sermons, or become involved in a church, all you need is a heart for God and a willingness to take action…
Do you live inside your comfort zone?
Your comfort zone is that invisible barrier that make you feel safe and secure.
All of us have comfort zones, some of us surround ourselves with them and stay there, some of us maneuver in and out of them, and sometimes we are forced out of them.
When we rest in our comfort zone we feel happy and secure, but we sometimes become afraid of what might happen if we try to do something different. When we get comfortable, or when we have done something in a particular way for a long period of time, we just don’t want things to change. But sometimes God doesn’t give us a choice.
Other times, we get that gut feeling. We realize that God is telling us that change needs to happen in our lives. When that happens, we may take up the challenge and change, but quite often we resist, procrastinate, and put off doing the things we should because it makes us uncomfortable.
You know what? life really stinks at times and so many times it’s not fair. We become familiar with disappointment and grief that making an effort to change becomes a struggle. There are some people who are so focused on their problems that fear, stress and worry becomes normal.
Life can knock you down hard and then sometimes, as soon as you get up, it can knock you down again. Your struggles can be used to keep you down or you can search for strength and continue to get up each time. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
It is said that God places many blessings outside our comfort zones and then challenges us to come get them.
So I encourage you today to ask yourself, what is God asking me to do? Am I willing step out in faith, push through the fear and dismiss the voices of naysayers in order to move outside my comfort zone?
It’s so easy to stay where you are. Maybe you’re thinking God just doesn’t perform miracles anymore. If you step up, you will say or do something wrong. Maybe You feel you don’t have enough faith or maybe you’re looking at your life and saying ….look at this situation I’m in! I’m really not sure God can fix it. So we stay inside our comfort zone and refuse to change.
There are times in each of our lives when God will call us out to do something unusual, to do something that makes us feel uncomfortable in order to make his kingdom great. You don’t have to preach sermons, or become involved in a church, all you need is a heart for God and a willingness to take action.
It may be as simple as walking across a room and talking to someone you would have normally ignored. Or inviting a neighbor over for a cup of coffee, or taking a co-worker out to lunch and asking them how they’re doing.
There will be times when your life spins out of control. When something happens that causes you worry and stress. It’s during those times that you have a choice. You can choose to hide and cower in the darkness or you can choose to keep your head up and deal with it. Because when you face your fears head on you realize that no matter how wounded you are and no matter how dark it gets, you can always find a burning star, a ray of hope, a golden beam of light to pull you up and lift you out of the darkness. But you will need to step outside your comfort zone and search for it first.
I have family and friends who are very passionate on both sides of this presidential election. After the election this week, I am feeling the emotions from both sides. The despair, stress and anguish over not knowing what the future will hold, and the joy and elation of having your candidate elected. So where do we go from here? I’ve been asked to speak this Sunday at church and my sermon is titled “Don’t fear, God reigns”. I’ll record it and post it here next week. In the meantime, we need to pray for wisdom in our leaders, for cool heads to prevail, and trust that if we put our worries and our praise in the hands of God, he will bring us peace.
The poem I’d like to share with you is titled, “Let’s talk about stress”