Don’t be looking back…

Don’t be looking back…

Regular readers know I have had a lot of different changes in my life, as have many of my kind friends and dear relatives. We did not ask for these changes, expect them or, in some cases, greet them warmly. 

But nothing is a surprise to our God. He knew our paths, our poor choices and our failures. But on the other side of the coin, He also knows our good decisions, our direction and our delights. God knows the motives for everything we choose to do in any given time frame. We can keep dark secrets in our hearts, hide things from even those we love, and get by for a time on bravado or a false friendliness, but eventually, our deeds catch up to us.

“Do not call to mind the former things. Or, ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43: 18, 19). I personally do not believe that these verses of Scripture are teaching us to completely forget the past. Surely, we should learn from our mistakes, the errors of our way, and put forth an effort to be better as a human being, a father, a son, a brother, a husband or a friend. Forgotten, unconfessed sin often pops up when we least expect it, but if we are truly sorry for our wrongdoing, God is marvelous and quick to forgive us and point us on a new and better path.

People? Not so much. Many are held hostage to the hurtful past. They simply cannot let a matter go. They busy themselves finding wrong in others, pointing out their failures, their losses, and their pain. This is a tough job, and one I want nothing to do with in my life. I want to be an encourager and not a downer. I do believe strongly in accountability and not shirking our duties, but I would hope that those around me would be a positive and uplifting spirit in my life.

Living in the past keeps us from enjoying the present and looking forward to the future. I want to get up each morning and honestly say to God, “Good morning. Thank you for the good night’s rest. Now, what blessings have You planned for my life today and to whom can I be a blessing?” And I’d like to think I would set out on each day’s journey and be able to keep that attitude all day until I rest again that night.

Worrying over the past makes us weary both in body and soul. Things we did not do well and things that we perceive others to have done to us can consume us. When we become this weary, we can lose our way, get off the best paths, and drift with the tide to places God does not want us to be. Our work, whether it is to make a living or for the Lord, begins to suffer, and many times, simply ceases. We seldom win many of the daily struggles and battles of life.

I ask today that you consider your life, as I am considering mine. Are we worrying unnecessarily about things in our lives, in our children’s lives, in our work place, in our community? Are we becoming weary and not winning many of the daily battles? Have we lost our way because of circumstances, what we believe to be failures of other, or what we perceive to be unfair treatment? If any of these statements are true today, let’s go back and consider the Lord’s promises to us. He has vowed to give us a new path, a new way, a new heart, and new peace.

Thank you to each person that takes the time to write, e-mails, or call. As a writer, it is a blessing to hear your stories, your dreams, your testimonies, and I am honored that our column has helped you in some way.


Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.