Today’s devotion is about your past. As we come to the end of this year, many people are thinking about all that has happened this past year. Some enthusiastic ones write “Year End Reviews” and send them with their Christmas card to friends and family!
Whether we write it down for all to read or not, we all have a past. And in many cases, there are things that happened in the past that continues to haunt us today. And for some, the past will be haunting enough to stalk them into the future.
Sometimes it feels like a dark cloud hanging over us wherever we go. It’s like that dark rain cloud that followed Eeyore. Remember the sad donkey?
And the reason why it’s cloudy and rainy is because your past has not been reconciled. Now, it’s important to note that you don’t have to forget the past. Honestly, no one can truly forget. And for those who have gone through very painful experiences, it will be almost impossible to forget. But that’s ok. You don’t have to forget the past; you just have to reconcile it. Let’s confirm that there is no biblical command to forget the past. You just have to come to terms with it.
Consider the life of Joseph in the Bible (Genesis). His past is one dramatic episode after another, from being thrown into a pit to being sold as a slave to being thrown in jail. His dark cloud is raining cats and dogs! I’m sure there were many times when he was disturbed by all the things that happened in his past.
If you’re meeting in a group, you can pause this video now…. and share a painful experience of the past. That will take some courage. Or you can share how a painful experience has impact you and still affects you today.
Well, getting back to Joseph, there is that dramatic moment when he meets his brothers again. It’s been 13 years since he was sold by them. Joseph’s life is now marked by past betrayal, hardships, false accusations, and confusion. And now he stands before them with a lot of history between. The dark cloud of his past could easily have poured down on this meeting.
But Joseph offers a new found perspective on his past in Genesis 45:ff where he says: “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.”
What an amazing revelation for a man who spent half his life as a slave! Clearly, Joseph did not forget his past. He remembered every detail. But he completely reconciled it as God’s plan for his life. And so, it’s a matter of interpretation. For us believers, it’s a matter of RE-interpreting our past with FAITH, believing that God was guiding us the entire time.
If you’re meeting in a group, you can pause this video now…. and share how you have interpreted your past as God’s work in your life. And discuss how God can use your past for His purposes.
Today, remember yesterday. And take it to God and reconcile it as part of God’s will for your life. As painful and difficult as it may have been, somehow God allowed it for His purposes.
Even Eeyore needs to see beyond the cloud. And you by faith can see beyond it too and by seeing God’s hand in it; that He has a greater plan for your life. In fact, I always end each devotion with that point. And today’s devotion is further confirmation that God truly has a greater purpose for your life.