12Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.…~Philippians 3:12-13
I am thinking of this verse this morning. Kind of an emotional time right now for me. Moving from my home of almost 10 years, contemplating my life and some of that includes the losses. My thoughts have been returning to view the scars that remain from some of these losses. The first that leaps to mind is my divorce. All the pain and trauma from being betrayed by the one I trusted most in life, the effects on my sweet children, etc. I thought I would never recover, and wouldn't have if not for Christ. Then my son's abrupt and disastrous leaving in 2000 and all that's followed to his imprisonment. Out of my life basically for another 2 years. Some ongoing medical issues, some a result of my not doing what I should for my health, some not. And, because I am of a melancholy temperament anyhow, these have gotten the better of me at times, with Dave's absence especially. He lovingly knows this about me and knows exactly what to say to calm me down.
But the Lord gave me this verse this morning. I never looked at it this way before. I just always read it pretty generically. But it has new meaning for me....He so often does this...forget the scars, the pain of yester-years, reach forward to what He has for me now! I will explore this now and view things a little differently.
Everyone has things in their pasts that are painful, some have regrets or losses that seem to great to bear. Ongoing things like a child addicted, a prodigal, illness, etc. But the Lord calls us to the life He has for us NOW. Even if there are no paradigm shifts, there can be mental evolution. The Word says in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." So, He does not leave us in our minds, stuck there with pain and suffering. We are transformed by the Holy Spirit....IF. If we will yield to Him, surrender totally. Refuse to demand the right to suffer and allow Him to come in and heal and help us to think straight. But sometimes we are threatened by this. It means releasing excuses. No more, "I can't, because...." or "I drink (eat, use, choose your poison) because i'm wounded and want to forget or numb the pain. Christ died on the cross for that pain, it is finished!
Our minds hold painful memories, no denying that, but Christ can help us to remember and not let it overtake us. While acknowledging the losses, He removes the sting and reminds us to "reach forward to what lies ahead"! Life is not over! There's an "ahead" in front of us! I am encouraged. All those things the enemy seeks to remind me of have been wrapped up in the love of Christ. He knows, He is the God that sees, and He has come to heal and restore and give hope. Every morning I am trying to remember to ask Him to help me through the day and make my thoughts straight and right. The past is the past, I can't forget it, wouldn't want to really, but it has lost its hold on my heart and will not rob me of today's joys.