I too have been looking back, aching over a broken relationship. But I hurt so much, I lost my sense of direction. I lived in the past and forgot about now.
Then I came upon a verse, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19) Forget? How could I?
But forget also means to deliberately stop thinking about something, and not to bring it to mind. Because sometimes we slip into a relentless time-warp, where we relive our grief again and again.
And when I could choose to turn my head from the past, I began to see what God is doing, giving me something new. A strength of heart to live with love and joy.
This spring I witnessed a river in flood. The ground shook. The noise of crashing water filled the air. Yet one HUGE boulder stood up above the flood. Sure, it had been worn smooth with centuries of troubles, but it stood its ground. It refused to budge.
I gazed at this rock and thought, “This is life. We get battered and overwhelmed, but we can still stand strong.” For, “When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down… Because I am God, your personal God… your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:2-3) God holds us tight.
He won’t let us get swept away. He won’t let any of those troubles intimidate us. In him we can stand. In him we are safe, no matter the size of flood.
It was cold. Oak leaves lay frozen in a puddle, unable to escape. I stopped and grieved. That was exactly how I felt about something precious to me. It too had been captured.
Then a thought came. “Look up!” An oak tree overshadowed me. Another thought. “Don’t be sad. That oak tree will produce many more leaves! So can you!” Isaiah 61:3 says, “… provide for those who grieve in Zion… They will be called oaks of righteousness… for the display of his splendor.”