For most people, the past isn’t a subject they’re eager to bring up. In fact, it isn’t a subject at all. Period. And for some people, given the choice, they’d like to burn it all up and scatter the ashes to the four winds of heaven.
It’s understandable. The past can house many deep, hurting wounds yet open to this day.
For me, one Man changed all that. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I can tell you that He gave me a clean slate (‘cause He took mine and gave me His), turned me into a new and whole creation (I’ll never be the same, ever), and I don’t have to be defined by my past at all (it is truth and nothing but the truth). But He also did this for me—I no longer have to be afraid of my past.
One of my favorite songs has a line that goes like this; “He delights in shining the sunshine into the places I wanna keep dark…” How true is that of how I felt of my failures, weaknesses, and of course, my past… I wanted to keep ‘em in the dark.
But then, in another song, this ever faithful God went on and said this through the psalmist; “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul,” (Psalm 121:7); and in the light of that promise, I learned of God’s ever faithful presence in my future… and my past.
Through that verse He promised that He will be in my future preserving me from all evil, preserving my soul that has the tendency to waver at times. Yet with that promise, He showed me all throughout the years how He, too, had preserved me… in the past. Because He is the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
So, yes, I give glory to God that I am now a new creation, that my past doesn’t define me, and He has given me a clean slate—it’s a new day! But then I give Him glory also that He was right there with me in my past, preserving me, when I didn’t even realize it!
I probably won’t find out till I get to heaven just how much He has done that. Think about it… just how many of the “this-could’ve-happeneds” and “that-could’ve-happeneds-and-thank-God-they-didn’t” pop up till after a dangerous or sensitive episode was over. And those are just the dangers that we came to be aware of… We really have no idea just how good God is. He has done much more than we’ve realized, imagined, or expected. Though I myself experienced painful and traumatic times in my life as a small child, then as a youth, and in my adult years, I can confidently say that God is good and He heals the wounds of our past.
Isaiah 53:4 says that Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. It is finished. In Jesus, the past won’t continually remain frightening or hurting to us. If it persistently continues to, we have good reason to evaluate just how much we’ve received His work and what eyes do we see our past with. A heavenly perspective sees that He is with us today and He’ll always be with us tomorrow. Just as He was there with us yesterday, whether we saw Him or not. Have courage. Don’t be afraid to take a second look.
Rebecca Ticoalu serves as the director of Wellsprings Creative, the worship creative ministry of Jesus Reigns International and Abundant Grace Christian Church located in NJ. She is the founder of LOVE OUT LOUD, a love movement fighting against slavery and poverty through artistic and creative expressions.