13. Painful Past

“New Days” Meditations 13: Painful past?

Isa 43:18,19“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

We need to stay with this thought about the UNRESOLVED PAST, issues that hinder the present. We mentioned hurts or failures. It is easy to talk about such things but not so easy to face them and, even worse, do something about them.

No, the fact is that we will want to shy away from such things, we don’t want to bring them up again. That is a natural response and it will only be with God’s help in God’s timing – and timing is important – that we will be able to do this.

Pain or guilt are things we could do without and if we have managed to suppress them until now, what’s the point of digging them up again? The fact is that if there is still pain and guilt lurking in the background of our minds, in our subconscious maybe, we may be holding it in and pretending it is not there, but a) that requires effort that weakens us and b) we are not allowing the healing Holy Spirit to do what He wants, we’re holding God at arm’s length in this context anyway.

Did you note the TWO things I mentioned just now, a) facing the fact of an unresolved issue in my life and then b) doing something about it. Both require courage because the natural defensive response we will have will, as I said, shy away from this painful area of the past.

I once knew a lovely Christian man in his middle age who, most of the time lived life with no problem, but every now and then something happened to trigger a major defensive response in him that meant he withdrew for a time from his wife, his family and his church. The truth was that he had been severely abused when he was younger and when that past rose to consciousness every now and then, he fled.

As this came to light and I prayed about it, the Lord gave me a picture. Suppose one day you accidentally fell against something very hot and burnt the upper part of one arm. You are in agony. Then some enthusiastic, over-faith-filled person comes and says, “Let me pray for your healing,” and goes to reach out a hand to touch the burnt area. What is out natural response? To leap away and scream, “Don’t touch me!” Past hurts can be like that and so, we have to not only pray but also ask the Lord for the right time to deal with such things and the wisdom to go about it. If you feel there is such an unresolved hurt in your life and you feel the time is right to deal with it, why not see if you can find a close trusted and mature Christian friend, explain these things, and together give these things over to Him and allow Him to heal as only He can. If necessary find a counsellor/leader who is sensitive in these areas

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