Grove, Oklahoma, US
Via ASSIST News Service

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." - Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV).

Fireflies

Fireflies captured on a slow exposure in Germany. PICTURE: Quit007 (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Stepping outside in the waning daylight, the flickering of fireflies in the evening breeze summoned memories of growing up in southwestern Louisiana. A pleasant recollection, treasured and stored in my memory banks, left me yearning for simpler times.

I treasure those times spent with my sister and neighbourhood friends. In the summer, we’d grab empty Mason jars and watch as the dusky sunset revealed the twinkling lights of the soft-bodied beetles.

Poking holes in the metal lids of the jars our moms used for canning, we’d capture as many of the insects in our jars as we could before being called inside by our mothers. After the lids were sealed, we’d place the jars on our nightstands at bedtime so the bugs could illuminate the darkness of our bedrooms.

Pleasant memories of our past, sealed in our hearts and minds, are a blessing. I recall a quote stating, “We don’t remember days. We remember moments.”

Recalling those moments of what I considered a carefree childhood, helps me to put things in perspective. Those years weren’t always filled with firefly days.

Some of those days brought the heartache of embarrassing mistakes, peer rejection, and sibling spats. I recall my past feelings of inferiority, of not being a part of the “in” crowd, and being compared to my younger, outgoing sister.

For many years, I allowed the unpleasant parts of my past to define who I thought I was. I believed the lies of the Enemy.

I bought into the picture painting me as not “good enough", “pretty enough", or “smart enough". Choices I made, words I blurted out, actions I took to prove others wrong only reinforced my self-image. I hated the sinner I was.

In my late 40s, God began a work in me. I was a believer. But, I wasn’t a follower. I hadn’t picked up my Bible in years. It had gathered dust just as I’d allowed a layer of dirt to coat my perception of my past.

Have you allowed your past to follow you into the present? You can shake off the chains tethering you to the lies the Enemy would have you believe. But, God, yes, God, your Heavenly Father can break those chains.

Don’t dwell on the past. Let God do a new thing in you. And, when you know the truth, it will “set you free” (John 8:32).

Through Jesus, our redeemer, we can be set free of our past. “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12).

Jesus doesn’t want us to wallow in the sins of our past. Our past cannot define us when we allow the cleansing of God’s Holy Spirit to lead us out of the wilderness.

Lost in a wilderness of lies, we can’t move forward into a future of forgiveness, hope and eternal truth. Only He can set us free.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

If you’ve never experienced true freedom in Christ, you’re missing out. Once I sought a relationship with Him, Jesus helped me to see my true identity rested in Him.

When you accept your true identity is in Him, you’ll learn He’s absolutely crazy about you, and you’ll never be the same. You are somebody, somebody worthy of the sacrifice of what was most precious to God - His only Son.

Don’t believe me? Read and copy down these Scriptures: Psalm 139:14; Isaiah 43:4; Isaiah 46:3-4; John 1:12; John 15:15; John 15:16; John 16:27: Romans 8:1; I Corinthians 3:16; Colossians 1:14.

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