“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.
Jesus lives! We can still see signs all around us, if we look closely that show us that Jesus still lives today in the hearts of those who seek him. But we still struggle.
So I’m inclined to ask … If following Jesus does not exempt us from struggles and brokenness… Then why should we follow him? Why pray or go to church? What’s in it for us? The struggles we each face can be challenging and scary. And Following Jesus gives us a pathway to peace. He shows us the way to find Gods loving embrace. He takes away our fears and replaces it with determination and renewed strength. Our problems don’t go away when we follow Jesus, but the way we tackle them changes. Our attitude towards our problems change when we know we are not fighting them alone.
On this life journey, it’s the proclaiming our faith and the expressing our doubts, the questioning and the searching for answers, the falling and the getting up, the yanking and the pushing… it’s life pulling us in all directions, it’s the chasing and the crying and the celebrating that we do together, that leads us to discover the spirit of God in each of us. By following Jesus it fills our spirit with the love of God and brings us comfort knowing we are never alone. God is always with us.
Some of you endure the pain of life on a daily basis.
A lost marriage.
A broken home.
Death and separation
Sickness and pain.
Children facing difficulties and challenges.
No strong person I know got that way from walking away from their doubts and fears. It’s by tackling problems, by questioning, by searching for answers that we become stronger and more resilient.
Psalm 34: 18-19 says .. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.
Brokenness connects us to God. Think of the word BROKEN! When we’re financially strapped, we say we’re broke, when we lose someone or something we love we’re brokenhearted. When we were dating someone and they make us mad we break up with them. When we get together for meals we say we are “breaking bread together”, when we’re an emotional mess we have a break down. But it’s the broken ground that we plant seeds in to produce life,its broken clouds that bring rain, rain that yields flowers and food.
You know, it’s striking at how much the weather is a metaphor for our lives. This year especially we have realized that our never ending winter has finally moved into spring. We knew it would. That rain brings fruits and trees and rainbows. That storms destroy things that can be rebuilt even better and more resilient than before. Our lives are spent being broken and being renewed. Being cast aside and being lifted up. Being rained on and feeling lousy about it and then blossoming into a beautiful flower. We face storms, we struggle, we deal with the loss of loved ones. But it’s the harsh winters make spring much more appreciated. It’s in dealing with death, as we all do at times, that makes us appreciate life even more. Without storms we wouldn’t appreciate calm. Without death we wouldn’t appreciate life. God has a purpose for us ~ to live our life, to face challenges knowing that spring is coming and that whatever is broken or knocked down by the gusts of wind can be rebuilt and renewed – Are you hungry for God’s love? Are you passionate about learning more and removing those fears and doubts? Are you ready to discover the confidence that comes from tackling your problems with Jesus by your side?
We all have doubts and fears. You may be shattered by the loss of a loved one, dealing with health issues, facing a financial crisis, seeking spiritual fulfillment, needful of an emotional pick me up or just feeling sad. Yet, as followers of Jesus – together we can lift each other up. You don’t have to do it alone. We can be “Broken Together” and that’s okay – because we know that God uses broken things. God can put our broken pieces back together in a different way so that they will have a new meaning and make us feel loved and complete.
2 Corinthians 5:7
Everyone is unique. Each one of us is an individual with special talents and skills each one different. Some people perform better than others. Some people make more money. Some people make more friends. Some people are shy, while others are outgoing. Some people are more spiritual, some are more material. Some people can see, hear and feel God moving in their lives, others walk in faith. It doesn’t make one right and one wrong. It just makes us unique.
You are who you are … and I am who I am !
Not everything is black and white. Walking by sight and believing only what you can see robs you of spiritual peace. Only by walking in faith, by believing in yourself and your god given talents do you become spiritually awake. Only by walking in faith and believing in the world within you, the world where God resides, will you find joy. Money does not define you. The stuff you have or don’t have does not make you better or worse than someone else. Your individuality is what makes you special, relish it!
When you stop trying to please everyone, when you stop trying to keep up with everyone, when you stop believing that you deserve to have the same things that someone else has, stress and anger disappears. Many times money and “stuff” comes with a price. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Live your life by looking on the inside, not at what is on the outside. Be accepting and loving of yourself. Take care of yourself and take the time to be “me minded”. Enjoy today and rejoice in the good things that are happening in your life right now. Take time to try and reach out and discover the spiritual side of life and become your own best friend.
Life is also about reaching out to others, treating them with love and respect. Praise people with your actions and words. Celebrate their successes along with them, instead of being upset that it wasn’t you. Console your family and friends when things go wrong, offer words of encouragement and lend a helping hand. Have faith that God has a plan for you and that everything that happens to you, weather good or bad, is leading and guiding you in the direction of your destiny. Enjoy the journey and —
Walk by faith, not by sight.