Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope. It is because of Yahwehâ€™s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesnâ€™t fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:19-23 (WEB,)
I donâ€™t like looking back. Iâ€™ve never been to one of my high school reunions. They are held about 700 miles away but that isnâ€™t the main reason I have not attended. Iâ€™m just not a â€˜looking-over-my-shoulderâ€™ kind of gal! However, there is something to be said for remembering what I was like â€˜BJâ€™ (before Jesus).
Jeremiah and this translation picked good words if they were describing my BJ life: â€œafflictionâ€ and â€œmiseryâ€. I did feel afflicted and ill. My life seemed out of sync and I was miserable trying to find what would fill the void in my life. I tried alcohol but that only made me ill and the numbness would wear off much too quickly. I tried demanding that my husband fill all my needs and be what I needed. That only ended in divorce and more pain. I tried wandering through the world of professional success but there again I was trying to please people who really didnâ€™t care about me except to the extent that I could make them look good or succeed. Like the prodigal son (Luke 15), I finally found myself in the pig sty of depression and despair until I kept the â€˜divine appointmentâ€™ with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught me that looking back is an opportunity to rejoice at how far He has brought me. It is not for rewinding videos of condemnation! It is not to claim any piece of glory for myself. It is a time of praise and thanksgiving to the One, the only One who could change my life and set me free. I am free because â€“ I have hope. For me â€“ that is the difference between my life BJ and before I made the decision to walk in Jesusâ€™ footsteps. Hope. I am not perfect. I still have a journey to walk and opportunities to choose to be obedient or disobedient to Godâ€™s way. But I have Hope and a future that no one or no thing in this world can touch! I have hope because â€“ God loves me. Period. Thatâ€™s it. Every day, God shows me His compassion and love. They truly are new every morning.
Take a moment right now and remember your mistakes from yesterday. Maybe you didnâ€™t speak to your spouse with kindness but with sharpness. Maybe you didnâ€™t call your friend because you just didnâ€™t feel like hearing her/his problems. Maybe you griped about having to work on a past holiday and didnâ€™t get any extra pay. God forgives you. Yes, He does. Just ask Him. He does. Every time â€“ because of Jesus. Now â€“ let it go â€“ and letâ€™s learn from our mistakes and move on and not repeat that one! God is faithful.
Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long. Yahweh, remember your tender mercies and your loving kindness, for they are from old times. Donâ€™t remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. Remember me according to your loving kindness, for your goodnessâ€™ sake, Yahweh. Psalm 25:4-7 (WEB)