Ecclesiastes 1:9 – What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (NIV)
One day recently, I drank too much caffeine, so I ended up being wide awake in the wee small hours of the morning. You would think that I would know better by now, but I like my tea and my coffee, so on that particular day, you would have found me drawing and googling at 4:30 a.m.
A friend of mine had sent me a link to Google maps. I had forgotten about this amazing site. After clicking on the world map and zooming in on Scotland, I was soon able to "virtually" walk down streets and places in my hometown of Glasgow. This kept me occupied for hours. Eventually, I found myself walking through the hospital grounds where my mum had been kept in a locked ward. As I stood in the street and looked directly at the door to 22B, I could still smell the antiseptic and hear the sounds beyond it. It was a weird feeling, and it dredged up a few heart-rending memories that I had suppressed long before.
For a couple of minutes, I was a child again, and I was angry with God. A bitter prayer of "Why?" shot through my soul, and then, just as suddenly, I realized that all that pain was in the past where it needed to rest. What happened forty years ago need not scar me now. What was done then need not be experienced again. The writer of Ecclesiastes may not have agreed with that statement, but rather than be pessimistically fatalistic and say that history repeats itself, I now hold on to the wonderful, liberating words of God: "Behold, I make all things new!" (Revelation 21:5 KJV)
As I left my computer and crawled back into bed, I felt a burden from the past had been taken from my shoulders and buried forever. Caffeine may keep me awake, but Christ keeps me alive!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all carry moments and memories from the past that weigh us down spiritually and sometimes depress our souls. We wish that things could have been different, and we fear making the same mistakes or going through the same experiences again. Take hold of our lives, free us from the past, and make all things new. In Your loving name, we pray. Amen.
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