The late commentator William Barclay had this wonderful quote from an unknown author:
“How I wish that there was some wonderful place called ‘The Land of Beginning Again’, where all our mistakes and all our heartaches, and all our poor selfish grief could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door and never be put on again.”
I recall hearing the story of a 70+ year old woman at a nursing home. Whenever she saw a baby or heard a child’s cry, she would be overcome with guilt and remorse, and would break down into sobs. Though it had been a half century earlier in her life, her abortion was still as fresh in her mind as if it had been yesterday.
When I travel on my bike through various states and their small towns, and some of the churches and cafes, I meet so many interesting and diverse people. Everyone of course has some kind of past; some folks are plagued by theirs.
Every now and then God gives me the privilege and opportunity to have a deeper conversation during a “chance” meeting with a someone at a Sheetz or a coffee shop, or just on the road. There are a lot of hurting people out there. When you look at the face of the driver in the car next to yours at the light, do you ever wonder what they’re thinking about? What heart aches they may be wrestling with that day? Walking down the street or through the mall, notice the faces. There is a story behind each one.
And behind yours. How many know your story? Certainly God does.
For the believer in Christ, there is the promise of the cross and the Resurrection. In Colossians 2, Paul reminds us that all the rules and laws that convict of sin and paralyze us with guilt, have been “taken … out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:14b-15). Believe it; taken out of the way, out of your way.
Be encouraged in this: Jesus sees the person you have been, BUT, He also empowers you to become the person you could be.