If you had an opportunity to plan your life – would you be who you are now? Who we are is, in part, the result of the actions and influences of others.
That’s fine if only good has happened to you. But since we live in a broken world there are many who have been shaped by situations and circumstances that have left deep scars across the surface of their souls. It might have been abuse, bereavement, absent or distant parents, alcoholism, drug dependence, or countless other factors.
We only get one life. It doesn’t seem fair that the actions of others in time past can mar and ruin who we are.
Perhaps this is you, and you’ve tried to hide from the past, but you know that it doesn’t work.
It’s possible to live with the past, and yet not cope with the past. It gnaws away at us. We become trapped, thinking that we have to remain victims.
In Ireland we are very good at putting up masks, and hiding behind them, pretending everything is fine. But underneath lies a soul that is still raw. The past is real; it cannot be changed. Yet it can be conquered.
Our past might define us, but it doesn’t have to defeat us.
As a Christian, and as a pastor I believe that there is an answer. The Bible offers help to the hurting, so that they can emerge like a butterfly from the chrysalis of their past. God makes a promise to hurting people: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
What great words: hope, future, prosper. The hope that the Bible holds out is of a God who sets us free from the shackles of our past, who takes our past and uses it for good in us and around us. Not only does he rescue us from our past, but he rescues our past as well. The years we thought were lost are turned around and made into something profitable.
More needs to be said, and I will be speaking on Sunday evening (20th) on what the Bible has to say about ‘More than Conquering your Past’ at the Day Centre off Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny at 8pm. Why not come along and hear more?
Sermon audio can now we found here