There comes a time in life when it is necessary to let the past die. The wrongs that have been done to us and the hurt we have suffered at another’s hand, real or imagined, can cause unforgiving behavior and lingering immaturity. For you see, it is possible to grow old chronologically but still be slow maturing emotionally. This slowness can exist because of some poison from our past that cannot be forgotten. Every time something happens which reminds us of what someone or something did to us and we react in a certain way, our maturing stops as if we were still there. It is when we are able to let the past die we find we can forgive and thus mature.
A good example might be memories of a dog attack. If, today, we do not like dogs because of a bad experience with one, then this is something we cannot get past. How about people who have left the church system because someone in church said something to them that caused hurt and now they never want to have anything to do with the church, (sometimes even refusing any association with “Christians”)? See how that effects our lives and even limits us? If every time we think of something and it triggers a negative reaction where our thinking stops and we cannot accept a new thought because of what happened in the past, our ability to mature has been retarded, (at least in that area of our lives). This means we are throttled by our memories, obviously not growing into all we could become. How wonderful it would be if we, in the present, no longer REACTED because of past traumas, mistakes or shortcomings. After all, I know I am supposed to forgive everyone and everything, (including myself), but what if I just can’t seem to do that? It’s not because I don’t want to forgive, but HOW do I forgive? HOW do we let the past go so we can move on with the bright possibilities in our present?
Recently God breathed revelation on an old scripture which has immensely helped us, perhaps it will help you also. It all started when my sister and I decided to live together, both of us in our early fifties. One would think this would be easy, after all we are siblings and two grown women who love the Lord. Well, to say the simplest thing, we have different personalities and we do not always see eye to eye. One morning we ran head on into a disagreement. We said the horrible hateful things to each other. Well, my sister left the house and I supposed that she would never return again, but FATHER turned ashes into beauty. This is Terrie’s story and what our Father showed her when she finally got far enough away to sit down and think.
“While on a long walk one afternoon after an extremely heated argument with my sister, Pam, I saw in the distance one of the mighty oaks that are native to where we live. It stood alone in a little valley. I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and was tired so I headed in that direction. On the ground were scattered bones from a deer carcass. Nothing unusual here, except these were drug around a wide area and along the path to the tree. Wild dogs probably. As I approached this mighty oak, I saw a large limb had split off and was lying on the ground. This reminded me of the story told by Jesus who said if the branch is withered it will be cast into the fire and burned. (I might say that at this time I figured my sister was going to be thrown into that fire!) It was as I sat on that dry limb, pondering if she were going to burn or not, I noticed even more dried bones scattered all around the tree.
Then the Spirit of God spoke to me and brought to mind the story of Ezekiel chapter 37. This is where in Ezekiel’s vision, the Spirit took him to a valley of dry bones and God asked “can these bones live?” Although it looks to us like a trick question because of the many answers that were available, it seems that Ezekiel said “I don’t know Lord, Jehovah, You know. Why are you asking me?” That was a negative, when Father asks anything, “YES Lord, YES” should always be our reply! Ezekiel had witnessed so many miracles one would think he would absolutely know, without a shadow of doubt, that God could make those bones live again. In fact, they were restored to the place where sinew and flesh and skin covered them and when God told Ezekiel to prophesy life to come again a great army stood on their feet.
I know this vision concerned the restoration of Israel to God, but on this day, for me life was breathed onto His word and revelation burst forth.
After this vision I returned home because I knew God could do anything, even to healing our relationship. This revelation has changed not only me and my sister but, as we teach what we have learned, others are also growing in the Lord. Below we will share what has been brought to our lives and understanding.”
We know if God says something, we need to believe not only is it true, but that he will do what he has said. We already know we are supposed to believe him, but some of us have a problem knowing if he is the one speaking to us. After all, maybe we have been disappointed in the past when we thought we heard God but it was only our own wishful thinking. We are all in a learning process, but IF we are listening to a nagging voice that tells us we have failed in the past, then we have stopped maturing. TODAY is the day of our salvation. TODAY is the day when God says, “Son of man, can these bones live?” TODAY is our chance to respond, “YES LORD, these bones can live!” That response brings new life to us, all because we no longer doubt God. Letting go of the past we are able to see that each day is a NEW day for God to work his will in us and for us to trust him.
The greatest help we have received from Ezekiel’s vision is that if GOD doesn’t put those bones back together, then neither should we. What are we speaking of here? The bones, old memories, can be brought back up and flesh put back on them if we want to remember old hurts or slights. It happens when we don’t let the past die. In many cases, it is when someone hurts us or wrongs us and that is what comes to our mind when we think about them or a situation. It can even be if we feel let down by God. You know, God did not do what I asked or thought he would do, so now I don’t know if he will answer my prayers. ANY TIME we drag up something negative that has happened in the past, then we are trying to put sinew and flesh on dry bones! If the ‘fleshing’ is done by God it is a marvel, but if I am the one trying to drag up things and put flesh on them, then it is wrong. I am not saying that we are not to learn from our mistakes, but if we feel God is saying something to us then it is of the utmost importance that we do not let the past stop us from receiving the miracle of today.
This understanding has brought about the most wonderful miracles of forgiveness we have ever seen! Not only are we able to forgive each other of past hurts, (even if they happened only yesterday), but we have a new trust in God. How has this happened? Whenever a thought or memory pops up we simply say “dry bones.” That means we can forget it! It is not something we want to put flesh on and drag up again. This simple phrase brings great release and even a smile. It’s not something I force myself to say, but it is with great joy I am able to remind myself that it is in the past, today is a new day and I am ready for God’s miracle of today! I can only limit God, and others, if I expect someone or something to be exactly as it has been in the past. TODAY, God is able to make it different. TODAY I allow myself to believe in God’s love toward me. By doing this I am also able to show his love toward others. This is all a part of the circle of forgiveness.
But there might be times when the bones are not yet dried. So how do we let that memory dry up to the place where we no longer keep dragging it back up? If the hurt has been caused by someone else and is really deep, we can remind ourselves that God really does love them. That he died for them the same as he died for us. We can pray that he will show us something loveable about them and we learn to care no matter what. We can think like this, what if that person promised to give us something we really wanted or needed, (a million dollars, a new home, etc.), would it be easer to let the past slip by? Sometimes it is necessary to talk to the people who have hurt us, something like, “I really want to get past this, can we just talk for a minute?” But mostly, it is better to let the past die and become dry bones. It takes a step of courage to ask to love someone who has hurt us or others we care about, but the cost is little compared to the reward.
Most importantly, we have to put away our own dry bones. These can go clear back to our childhood. As thoughts come up, if we just say “dry bones,” we are able to actually let even those things go from our thinking. It may only take a short time of applying “dry bones” for the memories to fade away and we find we are healed from our past. This is the most wonderful miracle!
Jesus told us that it is not what goes into us that defiles us, but it is what comes out of us. Everything that has happened to us in the past is what has gone into us and if our response is from those memories then that’s what is coming out of us. All that happened to us, all hurt inflicted upon us, all the mistakes we made, are dry bones, if we let those old memories die. It is only when we apply sinew and even flesh that they can hurt us and hinder our trust in God. Letting the old memories “flesh” up, (and rule our day), keeps us in un-forgiveness. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things pass out from inside and defile the man. (Mar 7:21-23) BUT we can put a stop to these things when we let our past be “dry bones.” We can let the memories die.
We are able do this because every day is a new day in God! Just because something happened yesterday does not mean it will happen again today. Even if the same thing has happened over and over it does not mean that it is impossible for God to change things. Let us face each day as a new day. Today is the day our miracle can happen. This means we must have a new attitude and believe God wants the best for us today, not holding memories of yesterday against him. After all, truly, they are only memories, so why let a memory have power over us? We must not let the past control our future with God or man. We know that God has forgiven us, now it is time we forgive ourselves.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:48) HOW can we possibly do this? By letting dry bones be dry bones. TODAY is the day of our perfection. We must not look at yesterday and think of how we failed then believe we will probably fail today! We need to give ourselves a chance to be perfect today. WOW! It is this new person, the one I am right this minute, that is something I can work with. I don’t have faith in what happened yesterday, but I do have faith in God’s ability to change what he wants to change and make the day new.
To fully grow into all God has for us we must forgive ourselves and others. Here is another example on how to accomplish this forgiveness. The other day when talking to Father about some things that were really bothering me, words spoken for destruction were still hurting so I asked, “Father how do I get rid of all this trash in my mind?” His reply was, “What do you do with trash?” I told him I take it to the dump. Then he said, “do you go back and visit something you left at the dump?” Never! It is rotten, it stinks and I threw it away because I didn’t want it anymore. Well, duh, if something is troublesome then it should be discarded and LEFT at the dump! WOW! Anything that is not beneficial to life is trash. Worry, fear, doubt, all the things the 10 commandments gives instruction not to do and all that gives ‘stinking thinking’ is what needs to be taken to garbage dump.
"He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth: the LORD God Almighty is his name" (Amos 4:13, NIV). He is worthy of our trust. We are more than able to experience the new day and the “dry bones” of forgiveness.
Our Update In November the Alhambra Post Office hired some new staff and somehow they returned all our mail to senders. It is wonderful how these things happen! We had NO mail for the entire three weeks before Thanksgiving. No way to pay my rent, auto payment, bills nor buy food for the holidays. But because my sister is living with me, she was able to help with some of these things and the local programs provided wonderful “baskets” of food with most of what we needed.
I say this is wonderful because in October we sent out “Pamla’s Pause” concerning miracles and trusting God. We should always be able to trust because of the miracles God has done in or around us, so this was my chance to experience trust! It took several different people letting us know their mail had been returned before we finally realized that the post office was at fault. It has all been straightened out and they will make sure our mail gets to us. Please re-send to the Alhambra address.
The “going through” stage is difficult and it hurts, a lot, but in the end we know the peaceable fruit of the Holy Spirit is worth the pain. So, although I am not looking forward to what might happen in the days ahead after writing this edition of “The Implanter,” I am looking forward to becoming more like our Father in this world.
Terrie and I are doing well here in Lakeport, CA. We live in a mobile home park about 6 spaces up from our niece and her two children, 3 miles from our parents, 1 mile from my best friend, and our brother stays at any of the 3 places as it suits him. We find what Father is doing amazing! The mobile home we bought has been such a blessing to us. Terrie pointed out that the windows in the living room form a huge cross and when she showed me a picture she had taken we discovered it looked like a sanctuary. Father has told us this is a sanctuary and all who come here are to find his peace, love and acceptance. We’ve been blessed with a Sunday gatherings here in our home and those who come have been taking the message back into their families. God has been moving wonderfully in lives and we are so encouraged!
Thank you for all the support in December. We know the holidays have a tendency to stretch the budget to the max. We pray this finds you well and that this New Year is filled with new and exciting times straight from the Lord.