We should never judge a book by its cover. This is one of those golden rules, and it truly is one to live by. Judging something solely on the basis of what appears externally can be a costly mistake, and many single women can testify to this. A person can be pleasing to the eye, but what’s going on inside of them can tell a completely different story. When you’re dating someone like this, it can be the most disappointing thing. The person looked to have it all together, but after getting to know them a little better, something just isn’t quite right. Regardless of how a person looks, when there’s an incompatibility between souls, it leads to all kinds of complications. This is a lesson that should prompt us to look in the mirror, because many of us look the part of a woman that’s got it going on, but on the inside, we’re burdened and suffering. Many of us never stop to think that our refusal to let some things go may be blocking us from the blessings we are destined to receive.
We all know women who hide behind their pain. Marilyn is one of them. The odd thing is that she’s someone that no one would ever suspect is unhappy. She’s 39 years old and married with two children. She’s been a high school teacher for many years, and all her students love her. Her husband adores her as well, and she is a very loving mother, but Marilyn is also a very sad woman on the inside. Her bathroom shower is her place of solace, and there she cries her heart out just about every night. She is very tired of feeling sad but doesn’t trust that anything can make it better.
Thoughts of her past are tormenting. She copes with it during the day by keeping as busy as possible, but at night the memories come flooding back in. Something happened years ago that shook her to her core, and she refuses to allow anyone to see her pain, not even her husband of fourteen years.
It is shocking to think that a person can function with this much pain and do everything within their power to keep it from everyone else. The truth is that many of us do this because we’ve never learned how not to do it. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14(NLT), “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Whether we know it or not, God is giving us a strategy for handling a troubling past, and Paul proved that it works, because if anyone had a troubling past, it was him. Paul trusted Christ, and through God’s grace, he put his past behind him.
He tells us that we have to focus, and this focus comes in two steps: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Both of these work together, but sometimes we make a habit of looking back. The fear of looking forward has tripped many of us because we think we might be disappointed if we get our hopes up. It’s just like meeting a very attractive person and discovering they have a really yucky personality. It’s a let-down, but that doesn’t mean that every attractive person is this way. There are some people that are beautiful on the outside and inside. So, something horrible may have happened in the past, but we shouldn’t give the past so much power that it shapes and molds our futures.
In 1Corinthians 3:10, Paul said that God had given him the grace to be a wise master builder, and because of this empowerment, he had laid a foundation. This is what you and I must do as well. We must build on the foundation laid by Jesus Christ, and the way to do this is to have faith that he will bless us and keep us surrounded in his safety. In John 10:10, Jesus Christ said that he left the throne of God and came to earth to make a more than abundant life available to us. It is up to you and I to walk in faith and manifest this abundance. We can have fulfillment, liberty, and love in our lives through Christ, and we must be sold out on the truth of this. We can do it, because God said it can be done. We don’t have to get stuck in the past because we are afraid to be happy in the present, but this is what Marilyn did. She was afraid of so many things, and she worried all the time. Nothing made her happy, and she expected to always be disappointed, no matter the situation. She would not allow her heart to trust Jesus Christ.
Trusting Jesus Christ with our pain is the solution! We don’t have to walk around with a bad attitude and allow pain to paint our hearts with darkness and fear. We can choose to forget the past! Jesus Christ instructs us in Matthew 11:28-30(NIV), “28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The rest that Jesus Christ gives us is spiritual. It’s supernatural, which means it bypasses our understanding. Our only responsibility is to simply surrender to his care.
Meeting the special person that God has ordained for our lives is truly a blessing. We want them to be compatible with us, but we should honor the reality that they will want the same thing. Meeting someone that is one thing on the outside but something completely different on the inside isn’t anyone’s ideal soulmate, so we should do everything in our power not to be someone like that. Wear the love of Jesus Christ by accepting it totally and letting it saturate your heart. Don’t cling to the past, cling to him, because you can’t do both. Release your burdens to him, and trust in the blessings that God has in store for your life. You can do it because Jesus Christ says you can. Focus on trusting him and you’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Forgetting the Things of the Past” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.