Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19
The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr composed a profoundly simple verse that came to be known as the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Niebuhr’s words are far easier to recite than they are to live by. Why? Because most of us want life to unfold in accordance with our own wishes and timetables. But sometimes God has other plans.
One of the things that fits nicely into the category of “things we cannot change” is the past. Yet even though we know that the past is unchangeable, many of us continue to invest energy worrying about the unfairness of yesterday (when we should, instead, be focusing on the opportunities of today and the promises of tomorrow). Author, Hannah Whitall Smith observed, “How changed our lives would be if we could only fly through the days on wings of surrender and trust!” These words remind us that even when we cannot understand the past, we must trust God and accept His will.
So, if you’ve endured a difficult past, accept it and learn from it, but don’t spend too much time here in the precious present fretting over memories of the unchangeable past. Instead, trust God’s plan and look to the future. After all, the future is where everything that’s going to happen to you from this moment on is going to take place.
The past is past, so don’t live there. If you’re focused on the past, change your focus. If you’re living in the past, it’s time to stop living there, starting now.
– Steve Arterburn
Shake the dust from your past, and move forward in His promises. – Kay Arthur
Whoever you are, whatever your condition or circumstance, whatever your past or problem, Jesus can restore you to wholeness. – Anne Graham Lotz