I have a recurrent, deep-seated desire to undo the past – the times I had spoken, acted, and made decisions foolishly, heaping up shame upon myself. I could go as far back to the years of my youth and would find many a reason to regret. I believe you know what I’m talking about here :). You know those years in high school and college that you had been unintelligent (stupid is more like it) on many issues on the personal and social levels? I had just celebrated my 47th birthday (Oct. 2), so that makes college life eons ago, but I still get a feeling that maybe I had made the wrong decisions that brought me to my present life, that I could have done better with my choices. That perhaps life would have been more beautiful had I been smarter earlier in life.
People who know me would wonder because I had actually been successful in my career. I got good grades all throughout college that I was on the Dean’s List every semester. But I’m not talking about academic performance. I’m talking about relationships, friendships, and beautiful possibilities presented us in the past that we had bungled. It is this: no matter how successful I had become in life, now that I know God’s words, the mistakes of the distant past seem to look much uglier. Now that I know His precious teachings, the more I desire to have been a better young woman, one who was both beautiful inside and out.
But in the midst of these feelings of regret, the Lord spoke to me. But before that, He showed me a vision in my mind of a lamp sitting beside a basket. He said I am that lamp. That He has let my light shine outside of the basket and why don’t I see that? The Lord knows what’s hidden in the deep recesses of our hearts; nothing is hid from Him. He knows exactly what I might be regretting or mooning about that I cannot express in words. He said to me:
Your life now is beautiful because I am in it. Because I make it so. Why do you refuse to see that? You can’t keep on reaching back to the past and wish you had done differently. Because there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do about it but that – wish. I want you to look at your life now because the present is all that you can live in. A loving, faithful husband and lovely children that cherish you. I gave you a gift to write to share my words and love and they read you. What’s not beautiful in that? What’s not to love and thank and celebrate in your life when all the while I am with You? I am working in and through you and that’s what the world sees, not your regrets or how you wish things were different.
Writing these words now makes my blindness clearer. I am feeling what the disciples had probably felt when Jesus rebuked them of their slowness of comprehension regarding the miracle of the bread and fish – mortified. He then reminded me of Ecclesiastes 3:
He has made everything beautiful in its time… (Ecc. 3:11)
Okay. So if before there was ugliness and shame, now, there’s only His grace and beauty and light. Be a lamp that’s outside the bushel. Don’t hide your light under feelings of regrets and unworthiness. The Lord wants our lights to shine for all the world to see. He is that light.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (Mat. 5:15)
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Journey with Jesus,