Hi there everyone. So good to join you today! It’s been a while since we’ve chatted. So much has happened in the past 18 months. There have been good and bad things happening. Unfortunately the bad things happening are trying to overshadow the good things that are happening. Yes it’s a time of Good and Bad. During this time of pandemic, war, death, anger and chaos I am seeing that God is still working.
Right now so many are hurting, dying and so many are discouraged. If we are honest we can say that we’ve all experienced some form of hurt in our lives. When you are deeply hurt by people you least expect, or when you are faced with enormous challenges.
Of course, there is no better way to display your emotions than being angry.But you need to stay calm.Why?Because extreme anger may lead to sin. The prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 43:18 I’m reading from the NLT translation.
“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”Isaiah 43:18-19 NLTThe NIV translation describes it as “Forget The Former Things”
Today I would like to chat to us about “Letting Go”
Just imagine all we did was live in the past? That there was no present and no future. Would you and I learn from the past or would we be stuck in the present that constantly reminds us of the past. The past can never be cancelled or omitted from our lives. But the past can almost be erased! In order for us to “move on” we have to leave the past behind us. But I also believe that looking back to see how far we’ve come is powerful.
We are in the process of moving house right now after 20 years of living in this current house. 20 years of gathering memories! 20 years of memories that hurt when it hurt and 29 years of joy when it was a time if joy. What memories I am experiencing at the moment! Yet, the biggest lesson I am learning right now is “Letting go”
I recently had all my old VHS and video tapes converted to digital Harddrive. I have been enjoying watching “old” footage of when the children were SO SMALL, Clive and my wedding day, and ministry footage of when we first started pioneering the church we are at 21 years ago! Memories.
I suppose you’ll say that the past is the past. Like Isaiah says that God is doing a new thing. After watching some old footage now digitised I discovered HOW MUCH of our “old” memories have been the foundation for our current circumstances.
From this I detect that Gods NEW THING is often derived by where we were in the past. Take my life for instance. Growing up in a poor part of Cape Town, where drunkenness, unemployment and so many bad things were happening. There were gangs, insecurity, crime lawlessness. Yet in all of that God was going to use it. I am privileged now to do ministry in a very similar area in Cape Town. Could God use my memories and my past? Yes he can. And He gets the praise for it!
I am SO grateful that God did not let me go. Nor did I let go of God.
“Letting go” can be extremely challenging. In moving it’s a matter of asking whether you’ll need the item in the new house or giving it away to somebody. Our “OLD” is somebody else’s “New”Letting go of hurt and anger, disappointment and resentment brings us to a new place. Memories that are hurtful can be causing you and I to remain stuck in our own feelings of despair. Forgiveness brings Freedom. It’s easy to say “we move on” when we are still lugging the memories around with us. In the past 3 months I’ve had to learn to throw away in the rubbish those physical things in my memory that still hurt.
I have learnt so many lessons from the way my heart has been dealing with packing up. Letting go……and maybe in the process I am “letting God”.
The words of Jesus in the book of Matthew tells us:“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
I want to encourage you today to stand in front of your life and search for the things that still hurt your heart. Let God remove the hurt. Every box I’m packing right now I am making sure that I am not taking “old” with me. Not old in value. But “old” for the forgiven, restored and new me. God wants to constantly wash and clean us. He is truly preparing His Bride for His 2nd coming. Are you allowing Him to change you? I encourage you today to look for Him and I can guarantee that when you seek Him with your whole heart you will find the person YOU changed in His presence.
Let’s pray together. Lord, I realise how much of me is still needing to be healed by You. I give you my heart Lord. Cleanse my heart from unnecessary and old hurt. Give me a new heart of hope and trust. Thank You for taking my hurt and my sin. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Set me free to worship You fully. I surrender. Amen