Our lives are full of moments. Some of those moments represent happy, fun, or exciting memories. We hold on to those memories and they give us joy. We look back at them as adding something good to our life. They might make us smile or take us back to a sweet time from our past. But some of the moments we encounter are hard. They might be hurtful or scary. They might have been traumatic and overwhelming. They might be something that we have can’t let go of and are causing us to be trapped in our past.
I had a conversation about this with one of my daughters today. Sometimes we camp in the past. We pitch a tent and have booked an extended stay. I know what it’s like. I spent most of life camped in my past….camped with a tent made of shame and guilt and stitched together with threads of fear. This tent was where I felt comfortable. To the outside world it seemed insane to live there. My daughter had a great experience with some wonderful people who she thought would be in the same position for a long time. These wonderful people loved on her, helped her see how special she was. They opened her heart to God and gave her hope that she didn’t think was possible. But they moved away right at a time when she was at the height of her joy. God used them to lift her up and show her who He was…and the great plans He has for her. When they moved she was devastated. And she has camped there. I understand.
But today the Lord showed me something very beautiful. It was a window. Where she sees a closed door, the Lord gave her a window. God used these people each in a way that would give her a part of who He is. One gave her the hope of great plans and spoke truth and love right to the depths of her heart. She once felt unnoticed and alone and now this one showed her that was a lie. Another told her she was a butterfly…ready to spread her wings for God and fly. She now saw the possibilities of great things…of things to come. One helped her see that she is valuable and needed in the big scheme of things….that she contributes to the church and those around her. Each of those people gave her a view through the window of how God sees her. But the door…it stands behind her…it is the sadness…the fear…the shame…the guilt…the loss…the disappointments…the failures…it is locked tight and much easier to stare at then looking through a window of possibilities.
This window it holds a great view. It holds the view of the Lord in to the world He created for us. A world of hope…of great plans…of value…of love. God wants us to look through the window and not stare at the dark, closed, and old door.
God wants us to look through the window and see the possibilities. As I challenged my daughter to stop knocking at the door of her past…to stop camping in the hurt…and to look at all of the great gifts that God has given us. Yes, when those wonderful people moved, it was (is) sad and it hurts, but they each gave her a gift and if she can just see the gift instead…if she could just hold out her hands and receive the gift…this window to the hope of Christ.
Each of us has a past…some harder than others…but each represents something important in our lives. Will the past be a closed door or a window?
See the possiblities.
See the beauty.
See the great things that God has for you.
Believe it...trust...and find faith and grace in God's incredible love for you.
Look through the window...it has a great view.