Do you find yourself in an ongoing war with yesterday? You cannot let it go, it whatever it is hounds you day and night. It may be a personal failure on your part or a hurt that someone inflicted or an illness that has lingered. It could be a marriage that is difficult and draining. And instead of getting up each day and taking the new mercy that is offered you drag yesterdays hurt, disappointment or argument with you into today.
You have stopped looking at the glass as being half full, to you, it is perpetually empty. God is not listening to you, he is not answering your prayer (according to you) and you just cannot and will not let it go. This luggage that is full of all those things that have been piled in over the course of days or years is yours and you are going to lug it around if it kills you!
I get it, I have been there. I have carried hurts and failures with me to the point that I could not function and when I did it was in my flesh not in my spirit. I wanted to feel happy again, I wanted to get off of the negative, hard train of life and make myself happy, make this day better in my strength. Yes, there are times when we are not happy, we have a hurt that robs us of sleep or an illness that has drained us physically and mentally. But in those times where do, we go to fix it. To whom do we turn when life is constantly made up of lemons. Do you just watch your lemons mold? Or do you allow God to make your lemonade? When we do, it is the sweetest, best-tasting lemonade you will ever drink.
We want all hurt, however, it comes to not come, at least not to us. We want a life free of any discomfort, we want more mountaintops than valleys, we want, we want, we want… It is a merry-go-round of me’s and I’s…
God in his word tells us that we will have trouble. It is going to happen, maybe not today, but it will touch us all, and some of us more than once in varying ways. And his word tells us that since we know we will have trouble ( he told us ), then we can have peace in spite of said trouble. John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
If that is true that we can have peace, we do not have to drag our dirty laundry into the next day, we can rest in the one who is able, where do we get that peace. We go to his word, we read it, pray it and let it seep into the very marrow of our bones. His word is living and active. It can change lives, it can change your outlook, your mindset. The Holy Spirit will step into your situation and bring you that peace that we have heard, that peace that passes understanding. Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Is it possible to be in the very middle of a war and still have peace? His word says we can. It is not because of anything we do other than trust in his unfailing goodness and remember all the times he has been faithful. The fact that you are still alive to go through another battle is proof of his faithfulness. You did not die or cease to exist because of the battle that was raging. I dare say you were stretched to the point that you thought you could not bear it, but somehow you did and here you are in a new day.
The Greek word “peirasmos” means trial or proving. God is proving our faith to see how weak or strong it may be. He only gives what he knows you can handle. He knows you better than you know you. He formed you. 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you.” If we have faith that has never been tested, we have faith that cannot be trusted.
As hard as it is we need to surrender each day’s battlefields to the Lord, we need to grab hold of the new mercies that are ours for the day. Yes, maybe that will mean a good cry in your (Father’s) lap, maybe it will be a new laying down of yesterdays burdens and a walk through the pages of his word that has the power to change us. When we try to shoulder our heavy luggage alone we are beaten down and sometimes we must sit down, but when we leave it at the foot of the cross, and we pick up our new mercy bag, somehow in the midst of that we find our joy tank refilling and the day seems brighter and the war easier to fight. God longs for us to come to him, he wants to heal our wounds, he wants us to trust his heart for us.
As a child, I went to my special place to talk to God. My grandmother had told me that I could talk openly to him just like I talked to her. I found that fascinating. She said I could be honest with him because he already knew what was in my heart and what I wanted to say. So, I would go to my special place away from everyone which happened to be a big field across a cow pasture and a creek where no one was. There I would tell God how mad it made me that my dad was doing the hurtful things to me. I would tell him that my grandmother had told me that he (God) could do anything, so why was he not? (at that age she was my Bible)
I would ask God why he would let my daddy do the things he did if he (God) really loved me like she said he did. Did I get an audible answer to my questions, NO! Did my daddy suddenly stop sexually abusing me, NO! Did I walk away with new peace in my heart, YES! Did I somehow understand that although God was not stopping him, he was somehow allowing it and would make it all be okay somehow, someday, some way, YES! God ministered to my young heart. He supernaturally spoke into my wounded spirit and I believe it is because although I was a young child, I had small faith, but my grandmother had great faith and I trusted what I saw her walk out each day and I trusted as much as a child can what I heard my pastor say on Sunday’s and God grew my faith with each encounter and when I went to him, I got my peace, I got my bag of new mercy, it was always there, but the act of going after it is helpful.
Even then I was laying down my hurts and leaving them with the only one I knew could handle them, I believe that in part is what has helped me walk through all the ugly places of my life. Could God have stopped my dad, Yes I know he could, but he chose not to. And to be honest it really is a mute point at this juncture of my life. I look back on that time in my life and I see God, all over it, working it for my good, holding me when I needed to be held and giving me that peace that passes understanding when I needed it most. I did not always see him then because I was looking through a lense of pain and hurt. Focused on how it was affecting me, which is entirely a normal thing to do. But when I changed my focus to God and asked him to help me, my feelings changed and my faith grew. It has grown my faith and moved me ever closer to the Lord. He was faithful then and he is faithful now. He saved my dad mightily and my dad has been in Heaven for 28 years, Praise God!
Do not take yesterdays hurts with you, it gives the enemy an opportunity to drag you down, keeps your self-focused and sometimes stuck. Lay them at the Father’s feet, trust him to work it out and lean on him through prayer and his word. This too shall pass!