My wife, 90-year-old mom, and I were in a four-car accident a few months ago. As a black Lexus raced through a red light and was “T-boned,” it was sent veering towards us in the opposite turn lane. As this unfolded, it all seemed to be happening in slow motion. Ultimately, it hit the front corner of the SUV in front of us, which pushed it against my Honda’s bumper. We were fine, but the car had to go to the body shop for a new bumper, and I needed a car rental.
When I dropped off my car for repair, Chris, a nice young guy, picked me up with the rental, and we headed to their office so I could sign the papers. As we talked during the ride, he mentioned something about God. So I asked him where he was in his faith in Jesus Christ. He enthusiastically proclaimed that Jesus was his Savior; if it weren’t for Him and moving to this area, he would be dead. He further explained that he had grown up in the projects of Miami, Florida, but his mom had insisted that he move from there to here. He resisted but eventually did. He said it changed his life because many of the friends he grew up with were either in prison, dead, or selling drugs.
Then I reciprocated his enthusiasm with my own and rejoiced with him sharing that Jesus was also my Savior! I went on to say, “What is great, Chris, is this. Though you are younger than I, and we have different ethnicities, we are brothers in Christ! We are one in Christ!” He responded with a broad smile.
When I asked him about his family, he said he had 21 siblings! Then he shared a very sad story about his youngest brother. When his dad died, this brother was so depressed that he developed a “death wish.” As a person with epilepsy, he decided to stop taking his much-needed medications, which eventually landed him in the hospital in a coma. Chris was the designated decision-maker who eventually had a very difficult decision – whether or not to remove life-support. He knew that his brother’s wish would be to remove this. Yet, as Chris shared this story, he shared the following.
“Mr. Mark, that was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the decision I made”. (He teared up as he told me this.)
I knew that Chris was plagued with false guilt and sensed the Holy Spirit wanted me to speak into his life to help him live free from this. I said, “Chris, as a Christian, you have Christ in you, right?” “Yes, Mr. Mark.” He replied. “Since that is true, do you believe He was living through you when you made that difficult decision?” “Yes, I do.” “Then, since Christ in you led you to do this, why are you still hoping for a better past?” “Would you please repeat that, Mr. Mark?” “Sure,” I said. “Why are you still hoping for a better past?” “Wow, why am I still hoping for a better past? That is a great statement. Thank you for sharing this!”
Chris is like many of us. We are hoping for a better past because of the regrets we have. Let me speak into your life if you are one of those who ruminate over past events wishing you could go back and have a “redo.” If you have been wronged, sit down with God and forgive all of those people who hurt you. If you have sinned in your past and keep thinking about it, God already forgave you on the cross. So forgive yourself. If you’ve had to make a difficult decision in the past, like Chris, remember Christ was in you when you made it. So, stop beating yourself up in your mind.
Finally, Jesus has not only dealt with your past, His past has become your past! “How so?” you may ask. Through our union with Christ, we not only have a new future to look forward to, but we also have a new past – His past is now our past. I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
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© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)