Letting Go of the Past

Sep 6, 2023 | The Chuck Wagon

So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?
John 6.30; NASB

Is there something in your past that is depriving you of enjoying God’s blessings today? The Jews asked Jesus these questions the morning after He fed five thousand men; over fifteen thousand people when you include women and children. He did this with five barley loaves and two fish! They all had to know this was a miraculous event, since there was no storehouse, no food carts, absolutely no visible supply that would feed that many people. And yet they asked Him for a sign that might lead them to believe He was who He said He was.

This story starts out by telling us that these people had seen the signs He was performing by healing the sick before He fed them (see Jn. 6:2). These Jews had hearts that were hard and could not comprehend the things of God. Their perception of the world was through the eyes of the Pharisees and Sadducees, not through a genuine relationship with the Father. Naturally, they could not see His Son, even though He was standing right in front of them.

Do you look at life through God’s eyes or through the lens of your past? Many Christians will at first give the godly answer. But after closer examination, most of us have to admit we see through the eyes of ourselves before salvation. For instance, if you were to get fired because of false gossip about you, what would be your first reaction? Most anyone would want to know who started the defaming story and why. The focus would be on getting a reason, or possibly vindication. Only after satisfying those desires, if you even could, might you stop to pray to see it through God’s eyes.

Years ago, for my son’s fifth birthday, my wife and I threw a party. We had a friend that was a professional clown who offered to entertain the children during the party. They loved the clown. There were laughs and hugs and everyone had a great time. All except our two-year-old daughter. The moment she saw the clown she let out a blood-curdling screech and ran to a corner crying. When I went to console her, she was trembling with fear. To this day (many years into adulthood) she does not like clowns. She is no longer afraid of them; just does not like them. She still views them through the eyes of her experience and cannot enjoy the happiness they bring into a situation.

It is not always a good thing to allow our experiences or knowledge to be the determining factor of our present reality. Later in this story we are told, They [the Jews] were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” (Jn. 6:42). They could not see beyond the past to experience the truth the Lord was trying to show them in the present.

Is there something in your past that is still tainting your vision of the present? God can turn any past mistake or hardship into something incredibly beneficial for you today. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our past becomes the fuel for our future. Allow God to heal your old wounds so He can use you to comfort others going through the same kinds of hardships. It may take some time and effort, but the blessings are well worth it.

Have a great week and God bless.

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