I heard some news last weekend that made my heart sink, but not for the right reasons. My reaction should have been grace and understanding. Instead, my initial reaction was fear… of the past. This kind of change has happened before in my life, and the last time it happened, it became the catalyst for conflict, depression, bitterness, stress, and unbelievable pain. So, this time, when I heard the familiar tune, all I could think was, “Crap. Here we go again.”
I know it’s not going to end up exactly like it was before. I know that, and I keep trying to remind myself of that fact. But that doesn’t keep the old fears that have been looming in the back of my mind from morphing into full-on nightmares. I want to be selfish, to scream, to cry, to throw things, to warn everyone of the impending doom, to flip into Hulk mode and let out all the turmoil in my mind. Things CANNOT go down like they did before.
I soon realized how irrational I was being.
These fears are not a result of me over-analyzing the situation or being too eager to seek out the irony in life. They are tools of the enemy. Satan tells us that our pasts write our futures– that we’re stuck on some sick cycle. He uses our scars to remind us that we can never move on. He wants us to believe that true change will never happen. Satan tries to convince us that God is sadistic and isn’t creative.
Those are lies. I believe them too often. The enemy uses them to drag us down, to paralyze us, to put us in disaster mode. Why are these tactics so powerful? Because if we’re afraid of something from our pasts, we know it’s already real– it’s happened once, so it could happen again.
What happens if we believe these lies, if we let them get to us? We fail to think and act clearly. Since I heard that news, I’ve been pushing rational thoughts about it away and focusing on the extreme “what ifs.” We also fail to adapt. Whether we can accept it or not, this is a new situation. We have a chance to do things differently, to act appropriately. We can’t do that if we treat it like it’s exactly the same situation. Lies about the past turn us into cowards about the future.
Then what’s the truth?
God says our futures are not determined by our history– they’re determined by the power of Christ in our present. We aren’t on a cycle, doomed to revisit the same sins, pains, and circumstances over and over again– we’re on a journey. Sometimes we face similar obstacles, but each step, each landmark is new. God uses our scars to remind us that we have moved on, to remind us how far we’ve come. He wants us to know that true change is possible– life can even come from death. He is certainly not sadistic, and he is entirely creative when it comes to the puzzle pieces of our lives.
For me, and maybe for you, it’s time to let go of the fears, stop listening to the lies, and start embracing God’s promises. It’s not going to end up just like last time. It’s a new season, a new day, a new moment. Trust God to be creative, but also to be just as faithful as he was before– when he brought you through that past you fear so much.
COMMENT: What truths from God have conquered lies about the past in your life?