“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.” Isaiah 54:4 (NKJV)
One of the things I constantly do while I drive is look in the rear-view mirror. I make no apologies for it either. I wanna see what’s coming from behind me so I can do one of two things. Either slow down enough to get that someone who is in a bigger hurry than me to pass me or to brace for impact when that person doesn’t take the hint and I suddenly have to stop for, let’s say, a deer that just ran out onto the road. Actually, I recently hit a six-point buck on one of the backroads I take coming home from Keswick. I guess it didn’t phase him because after he trashed the front driver’s side corner of my wife’s new car, he got up and trotted off into the woods. Anyway…
One of the other things I constantly do is to reflect on where I’ve been and compare it to where I’m at now. I do this through music. I’ll admit that I don’t always listen to Casting Crowns or Big Daddy Weave. I’m a fan of both bands but I consider them music to reflect where I’m at right now. But every so often I’ll look over my shoulder and a song from back then will remind me of a time when I shoulda, woulda, coulda. But, to quote the band Linkin Park, “What it meant to me, will eventually, be a memory of a time when I tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter. I had to fall, to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.” C’est La Guerre!!
When it comes to reflection and looking back our Bibles can do that as well, especially the Life Recovery Bible I got when I graduated from The Colony of Mercy. As I was preparing for the Addictions Victorious meeting that I facilitate I ran into something in that Bible that just sung to me. It was found in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 54:4-8, and was speaking to the third step of A.A. “We made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God.” I am one who says that the 12 steps should be reverse engineered, not to fit God’s Word, but because He already said them, especially when it comes to redemption.
After reading about the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 (which clearly points to Jesus), we walk into the first word of chapter 54…Sing!! Then after a few verses of encouragement, we get to verse 4 and we are told to…Fear not!! Now granted this may be about the future glory for Jerusalem but for those of us who said “I have decided to follow Jesus” we’re grafted in, so its okay to Sing and Fear not!! Why? Because Jesus is our Redeemer, that’s why. All that will we use to carry the burden of yesterday is lifted when we exchange it with the will of Jesus Christ. As the commentary in my Life Recovery Bible put it…
“Each one of us comes to God with a past. In turning our life over to Him, we give Him our entire self, including our past losses and shame. We hand over to Him every moment of disgrace, every tear we have ever cried, every word we wish we could take back, all the broken promises, the loneliness, all the dreams that died, the dashed hopes, the broken relationships, our successes and failures—all of our yesterdays and the scars they have left in our life.”
I’m not sure about you, but for me, that’s the kinda list of stuff I wish I woulda dumped a long time ago. Yes, some of that stuff still haunts me from the “way back then’s” but once I bring to remembrance that I accepted the invitation to the LORD’s salvation, I see that Jesus brought me outta what I got myself into and notice the great distance between to the two states of existence. What a peace that falls.
One of the other things I noticed in this particular Bible was something that I apparently highlighted for some reason. “Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to the LORD’s name; it will be an everlasting sign of His power and love.” (Isaiah 55:13) That’s the miracle of God’s Word. The gift that’s keeps on giving one promise after another, one fulfillment after another and one story of redemption after another. May we all find that everlasting sign in the redemption provided by the Suffering Servant. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine, and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com