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Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
- Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV
We all have a past that we can learn from, and a story that God can use for good.
Often times I am stuck remembering all of my past mistakes, and the difficult situations I have been through. So many times I have found myself getting angry at God for my past, or blaming Him for my problems. Recently, I have been trying to look at it from a different perspective. I am learning to see how God works through the times when life just doesn’t seem to be turning out the way I expected it to.
There was a time in my life when I made the conscious choice to walk away from my faith. During that time, I made many mistakes and went through some challenging circumstances. I felt like God had abandoned me, and I wanted nothing to do with Him.
Eventually, God called me back and I realized that I couldn’t do it without Him. As I progressed in my relationship with Him, I began to feel angry. I was mad that I had to go through so many negative experiences before I rededicated my life to Jesus. I found myself fixating too much on the painful memories, which cultivated feelings of bitterness towards them, and towards God.
Upon reflection, I can see how God was working during that time. I learned so much about the importance of trusting God through it all, and to pray even when it feels difficult. I love 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which says “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." This is such a great reminder that God is always listening to our prayers and that He is always there for us.
The biggest lesson I learned through this time is that God is good. God doesn’t rejoice when bad things happen to us, or when there is evil in the world, but He is there to hold our hands and guide us through it. One of my favourite verses is Psalm 34:18 which says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” This verse gives me so much comfort and reminds me that I can lean on Him through anything. As I think about my past, I now realize that good can come from bad situations. Even though there is pain, God is a constant presence who will always be with me, and I am so thankful for that!
1. What has God done in your past that you are thankful for?
2. How has God worked through the painful parts of your story?
3. How can you use your story and your experiences to help others and to serve God?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all You have done. Thank You for supporting me through the difficult and challenging seasons of my life. Help me to learn from my past mistakes, and to take those lessons to do good for Your kingdom. Help me to trust in You, even when it is challenging for me to give up control. As I reflect on my past, help me to see how You were working. When the painful memories resurface, remind me of Your goodness. Thank You for all of Your love, Amen.
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