Happy New Year…

Each January 1st, I remember the final entry of My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers’ well known daily devotional book. I just dug it out today and re-read his reflection for December 31st. He writes: “Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders.”

How often have I gotten stuck in regret about the past! I can look back on my life and wish that I had acted differently; that I had been more loving, or more generous, or patient, or self-controlled. Chambers says, “God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.”. In other words, these memories are meant to help us grow in sanctity, not to weigh us down with a sense of failure or condemnation. “…God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against [my] conscience.” (See 1John 1:9)

“It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future,” he writes. How? “Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ. Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.”

What good and practical advice for this New Year! Entrust the past to Him, and begin anew with hope in the limitless goodness of God.

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