While the calendar says it’s Spring almost Summer, today in SoCal it’s a gray dreary day. Flowers are blooming, but the sun isn’t shining. School’s almost out and it’s time to go to the beach, but it’s too cold.
There’s a spiritual similarity. We’ve had the realization of God’s love in our lives, yet we are overshadowed by the darkness of shame from things in the past. We’ve received God’s forgiveness, yet guilt still hangs over us like a spiritual weather system. Our past pours a mixture of depression and unworthiness over us.
We’ve blown it badly, not just once but many times. Even though we know we’ve been forgiven, we can’t escape the troubling idea that somehow the things in our past disqualify us from really being used by God. As a result we make subconscious departures from God’s purpose for our lives. The best we can imagine is that the Lord will only accept us…barely.
It’s about leaving…and returning
It’s good and necessary for us to turn our backs on different parts of our lives. Some of the most important changes in our lives will involve some kind disconnecting. However, there is also “returning” that is necessary, and even powerful.
In rebellion the prodigal son packed his bags and left for a distant country, but in brokeness he packed his bags again and returned home. He was a changed man. He was never the same.
It’s about leaving the old ways of thinking and doing, and having something beautiful happen inside of you. Something that is born in you that wasn’t there before. Learning to love yourself and learning to love others, and no longer being controlled by the past. God wants to make this kind of character transformation in your life.
Before you might have been a person with an extreme temper, but after God makes changes in your life, you can face the same things and hardly get bothered. Resentful people become gracious celebrators of others’ blessings. Bitter people become filled with contentment even in the presence of those who hurt them.
Double honor for double shame
God’s plan is to recover you so completely that you become a living miracle. God has announced…
“…you will be called a priest of the Lord, a minister of our God…Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor.” (Isaiah 61:6, 7, NLT)
It doesn’t matter to what extent you’ve made wrong choices, your past does not define you. Instead of shame, you will be honored. Instead of retreating in guilt, you will step forward in usefulness to God. So when the grayness of your past tries to overshadow you, tell it to back its bags and leave.