It is important to take the time to reflect on our mistakes and to mourn certain unfortunate events in our lives. But you also have to know when it is necessary to close the previous chapter and start a new one.
One winter morning, I was driving my 4-year-old daughter to her preschool activities, and a huge truck suddenly came blocking our way. Doing an emergency maneuver I was able to narrowly avoid an accident. My heart was pounding, and I couldn’t believe this trucker’s negligence. Several blocks away, I was still in shock when my daughter asked me what was wrong. I replied that the big truck had been very mean and that I was angry. And she then replied: “But the truck is no longer there.” Oh! What a lesson! I was missing out on beautiful precious minutes with my little princess only because my thoughts were taken up with this other person’s irresponsible behavior. Why stay angry when the truck was gone?
This example illustrates our state in other areas of our life, such as our love life. It is important to think about the reasons that led us to our divorce or to break up our dating. We must enter our prayer room and open our hearts to God. We need to learn from our mistakes, and we also need time to heal our hearts. This exercise requires a period that varies from one person to another. But we also have to, at some point, be able to close the door to this incident and start working on our future again. Once we have received God’s forgiveness, we need to give that forgiveness to those who have hurt us. And forgiveness is choosing not to refer to it again. It is to choose not to relive this situation in our head again and again by asking ourselves what we could have done differently. It is to choose to leave this event in our past and move on.
It is God who can tell us when it is time to turn the page. Sometimes He will tell us to stop asking Him for something He has refused us. As He did with Moses when he asked to enter the Promised Land. “But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the Lord said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter” (Deuteronomy 3:26 NKJV). Sometimes God will tell us to stop crying over a past failure or for someone we wanted to save. As He did with the prophet Samuel when he prayed for King Saul. “Now the Lord said to Samuel: How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons” (1 Samuel 16:1 NKJV).
There is a time for all things, said Ecclesiastes. “A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV). For a time, God may have asked you to wait in silence, to let Him work in you while you are single. But maybe now God wants you to get up and start walking in His holiness to meet other children of God. There is a time to wait and a time to seek. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at the wrongs we’ve suffered and start looking at God’s perfect plan for our lives.
The same is true for our relationship with God. We can at times look to our past to glorify God for the deliverance He has brought to us. But we shouldn’t envy our past when we did whatever came to mind without thinking of the consequences. We gave our lives to God, for better and for worse; for blessings as well as for sacrifices and persecutions. “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NKJV). Talk it over with God. It may be time to enter a new chapter with passion and hope.