All of that changes as we age and come nearer the end of our journey here. We begin to embrace the past, to purposely ponder it’s ingredients, both the good and bad. It helps us to mark times and seasons of our journey that made us who we are today and brought us to the place we know reside in the present.
Years ago I would purposely push a bad memory away as if I thought somehow it would cause me to relive it and suffer the pain and hardship all over again. I now see clearly that God does not allow us to only retain pleasing things in our memory and for good reasons.
We all have a past that matters! A past that can be used for good. A past that molded and shaped us as individuals and can be used to help others through our experience.
Those things that have happened along our life that seemed the hardest, the most painful, are the very things that benefit us.
Experience is the best teacher and unfortunately not one of us can say that all of our experiences are comfortable. Mistakes we make are there to instruct and train us. Pain and sorrows have a perfecting work to do in our lives. It is during those most uncomfortable times that we learn some of life’s most valuable lessons.
We would all like the world to see us as some perfect little package of an individual and we work really hard to hide imperfections. We do not want the world to know certain things for fear of their judgement. We choose not to expose unfavorable segments of life and manner we have lived. We try to edit out the bad parts and pretend they never happened.
Let’s look at what we learn as we read the writings of the great apostle Paul. He continually uses his painful past, admitting some of the greatest of sins, of which he declares,
“I was chief of sinners”. I Timothy 1:15
Think of King David’s sins and how through the most difficult of trails, because of those sins, he prevailed. Through out scriptures we see the lives of people exposed clearly so that we may learn valuable truths about life, about our God and his refining power in our lives. What if God had edited out all the bad things?
I challenge you today to ponder your journey thus far clearly, embracing both the good and bad parts. Doing so will free you to be used by God to help someone else who may need your testimony for encouragement at this time in their life.
God is not looking for perfect people to help the hopeless of the world, but humble sinners like you and I.
Someone may need you today to truly reveal to them that because of past experience, you understand and can relate to what they are going through. Misery does sometimes need our company, so stay humble enough to be used.
This life we live is a ministry for Gods great kingdom.
“Lord thank you for caring for me, for loving me even when I am not too lovable. Help me today to recognize how my hard times can be used to your honor and glory”.
Who have you helped through your personal hardships? Who can you reach out to today?