It’s not usually my habit to buy something new until the old version is unusable. If anything, I err on the side of comical, giddy with delight when the old toothpaste is finally gone and I can try something new. Though I seldom regret an unfortunate choice in something as simple as toothpaste, I have been known to show up, receipt in hand, to return a product I didn’t like.
Some things in life can’t be returned; some choices don’t come with a receipt. Mistakes happen. Wrong choices are made. No one is exempt. Not one of the heroes or heroines of the faith could look back and boast of a spotless, untarnished track record. I find it particularly encouraging that most of the major “mess-ups” recorded in the Bible were created by God’s own people walking in their own strength. If God didn’t use the imperfect, the history of the Church would be…well…dead — or, at the very least, it would not hold a place for us.
As true followers of Christ, children of the living God, we accept the fact that we stepped off the path of righteousness somewhere along the twists and turns of life (Ecclesiastes 7:20). We are not like the unbeliever who considers himself innately good or “good enough” to get by. And though we realize our personal shortcomings, the memory of them goes down in the grave with Christ.
God promises that a broken and contrite spirit He will not despise (Psalm 51). He assures us that He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). This does not, however, mean that we are to shackle ourselves in the guilt of our past sins in an attempt to keep God’s grace close at hand. Even if life can never be as it was, there is no need to forever regret what cannot be undone.
To me, living in a new season means that I am willing to accept what I cannot change about the past. Not only does it require relinquishing my natural inclination to try and fix what I cannot repair, it allows me to celebrate again. There is no choice, made by us or by another, that God cannot breathe life into. God beckons us to accept His mercies. Each day He is faithful to pour out His lovingkindness and mercy in a new way (Lamentations 3:22-24). There is no need to hold onto yesterday’s brokenness. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, and not the past, He will give us new opportunities to celebrate His perfect provision and His ability to satisfy our souls (Psalm 145:15-16). Looking for God’s goodness in our present needs is the best way to let go of the past.
The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
Psalm 118:24 (NIV)
About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.
Lyndsay has a blog dedicated to sharing and celebrating the work of Christ through her experiences as a missionary, world traveler, knowledge seeker, and recipient of God’s lavish grace.