As I feel myself falling away from daily, or nearly so, writing practices I made a desperate request for ideas.
As I am oft inclined to do, I took the first one that came along. May you, dear reader, and I be enlightened by what goes in print here.
Be warned: It is deep and I don’t know that I am up to an answer, but I’ll try.
My friend Jen posits the following: If one can’t learn from one’s own past, that person certainly won’t be able to appreciate God’s lessons and gifts He has in store for you in the future.
This is a tough one and one that I think needs to be looked at one piece at a time. Let’s start with learning from our past. I would suggest that everyone learns something from every experience, whether it be a positive experience or a negative one. My experience is that I most often learned the deepest life lessons from the negative ones. Philosopher and theologian C. S. Lewis said it most succinctly:
Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.
What I have learned is that we must take the time to obtain the right kind of wisdom and the best source that I have come to believe in is that provided by the Holy Spirit.
What He has taught me (yes, the Holy Spirit is not just an ethereal being but someone who lives in me) is that the most awful negative experiences, of which I have had a few, can be made into cathartic, wonderfully fulfilling spiritual experiences for the sake of my growth in that same Spirit.
When we look through the wide open eyes of the Holy Spirit, instead of through the natural eyes of man, solutions and true wisdom, and peace of mind are God’s promise to us. His gift, when we take our focus off self restoration and seek His kingdom, is what provides joy and not condemnation; peace, and not turmoil; godly wisdom and not temporal solutions in our own strength. The best solutions I have ever come to in my life of self-made problems have been those God gave me in answer to prayer and an intense desire to draw close to Him. As it says in Scripture:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Our adversary the devil comes to steal our joy, our knowledge of God and kill our desire to be fed by a loving God who created us for His glory. The devil wants to destroy our ability to learn about the Living God who has the best plan for our future. That’s why the most important thing in life is to draw close to Him. We do this by prayer, daily and directed scripture reading, and attendance with like-minded believers who work hard to advance the kingdom. How do you know you’re learning? I would say a good start is when you see these things happening in your life:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
I hope this helps in whatever challenges you face, my friends. Perhaps the greatest gift is the knowledge that we can leave our past behind, start living for Him, and learn the immeasurable depth of our Lord’s blessings that He has in store for us when we live for Him and His kingdom.
God bless you all mightily!