Have you ever been in one of those really old cool walk up style attics? The kind that you can stand straight up in. The kind that has one of those super old trunks in. I’m talking about the attic that’s at the beginning of that really scary movie. I’ve always wanted an attic like that, instead I have that little square whole in my hallway ceiling that you can barely fit through and even when you do manage to squeeze through, you have to scurry around on your hands and knees in order to not bust your noggin on the rafters. Regardless of what kind of attic you have they are usually used for the same purposes, to store old stuff. If you take a look through your attic you may find: old pictures, old clothes, old toys, who knows what’s really up there.
You may find things that you had completely and entirely forgotten about, things that you had forgotten that you ever owned. You may find something that jogs your memory about something that happened ages ago that you had never really given any thought to, but suddenly you come across this item or this picture that brings back flood of memories. Attics are full of memories.
You may have memories you would like to forget, you wish you could erase a certain memory because all you feel is hurt and pain.
Maybe for you it’s the pain of a letdown. You know when you’re expecting something to happen or you’re anticipating something big and then “Bam” it falls through. Maybe it was a relationship gone south, a passover for a job promotion or a presentation that you bombed. Let downs happen to everyone.
Maybe for you it’s the pain of a loss. Losses are even tougher to deal with because it means that something has been taken away from us. A loved one, the loss of a job, a friendship, a marriage. We’ve all experienced loss at some level.
Maybe for you it’s just the pain of life. Sometimes our pain and hurt is unrelated to letdowns or losses, sometimes life just happens and it hurts. Maybe you were on the receiving end of a parent’s divorce, it’s not something you caused but you were left picking up the pieces. Maybe you were the victim of abuse. Maybe you’ve been reaping the consequences of poor choice you made years ago. Maybe you or someone in your family has struggled with chronic illness for years.
Letdowns, losses and life all deal out pain and hurt into our lives at a rapid rate. And weather the pain and hurt that you have in your life happened yesterday, last year or ten years ago, it’s likely still just a painful today as it was then. Maybe you’ve been one of the lucky ones and you pain has lessened because of time but it’s still there and every great once in a while it sneaks up on you and slaps you in the face.
So what’s the problem with having all of this pain and hurt in our lives? Well besides the fact that it’s painful, you run the risk of losing control of your life. Pain and hurt that isn’t dealt with will control who you become, it will control the choices you make, it will control where you go in life.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says… “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Here’s the great news: You don’t have to force your pain and hurt onto Jesus. He asking for it. He wants it, He wants it because He loves you.
Think for a minute about the old stuff that’s stored in attic of your heart. In Philippians 3:13 Paul encourages us to forget the past and to look forward to what lies ahead. God’s desire is that we would not be caught up in the past, His only concern with your past is forgiving you for the mistakes you’ve made and taking away your hurt. His concern is your present and your future. His concern is that you live for Him today and that you prepare now for what He has for you in the future.
Questions for Reflection:
1. What old stuff is in the attic of your heart?
2. How is that old stuff effecting your present and your future?
3. How can you practice handing that old stuff over to God?