The Past

I would prefer not waking up to find myself rethinking the past; but I am thankful that I can go on and get up and stop that nonsense.  I am thankful for what has happened in my past.  Tinkering with it would have too many implications.  If I had went to a different college, I would not have met my Janine.  My children would be different and that would change my grandchildren.  What nonsense!  I am thankful for what has happened in my past because it has turned out the way it has. 

Joseph was thrown in a pit and if it weren’t for his brother’s greed, they would have killed him.  They sold him to slave owners.  He then fell on more hard times.  For years he was up and then down, ending out in prison — falsely accused of a crime he did not commit.  All that was what he built on when he came to the most critical moment in his life.  He stood before the most powerful man on planet earth and his response was glittered with wisdom born through learning to depend on God during the hard times (Genesis 37-50).

Then things got really good for Joseph and a new temptation came along.  Why would he even consider forgiving his evil brothers?  The answer lies in the same history that would cause some people to refuse to forgive.  It is a choice and the past depends on that choice.  

Joseph will live many years with the memories of each resulting consequence of this choice.  Like seeds planted in the garden — what grows in the summer, is harvested in the fall, and sustains us in the winter — will give either the nourishment or malnutrition that will impact our peace of mind and solace of heart when we wake up each of 20,000 mornings.  Random thoughts can come to our minds; but walking away from the ones we do not like, depends on choices like these.   

The choices do not stop.  Looking back through the binoculars of time reveals a less than perfect past.  So what do we do with that reality?  Every daybreak brings a choice.  We chose to regret or we choose to be thankful for the crooked paths that have delivered us onto this birthing-bed called “today”.  Every day is a new creation.  Choose forgiveness for yourself.  Choose trust in the God who molds the rough places smooth with gentle hands and peaceful intent.  

Isaiah 43:18–21 (NASB95): “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. ‘Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.’”

Stephen Williams

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