I had the joy of seeing my brother Andy on the last day of 2017 and the first day of 2018. We have many things in common as brothers and friends, but there are really two things that make us stand out from most other brothers. The first is that we both have major scars.
In fact, I don’t know any two brothers who can tout as many stitches and staples as the two of us. They literally number in the hundreds. He won his when he took a bullet to the gut during a hunting trip – a story for another day – and I won mine from almost removing my right arm from my body and severing my thumb into nine pieces while working on a garage door – again, a story for another day.
Neither of these life-threatening situations were fun. In fact, they were extremely painful, bloody and have left our bodies with scars we will carry for the rest of our lives, which brings me to the second thing we have in common.
Our scars don’t determine our tomorrow. Do you know why? Because those wounds are in the past and we’ve chosen to leave them there.
Here’s my point. As we look forward to all this new year will bring, it’s easy to get caught up in the pain of the past. Maybe for you the thought of a bright future, full of hope and joy is beyond your imagination. Just beginning to let go of past hurts, regrets or failures seems impossible.
If that’s you, let me remind you that with God all things are possible, even moving beyond your past. Philippians 3:13-14 said, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Do you know what that means? It means winning is possible. You can actually say goodbye to your past and hello to tomorrow. You don’t belong to your past. You belong to God’s future.
If you only set one goal for this year… if you only do one thing right all year, forget what is behind you and look toward what good thing God has for your future. Make it about tomorrow not yesterday.
True, the scars will still be there and maybe even leave you with the memory of the pain. The question is are you going to live in yesterday’s pain or tomorrow’s joy? The choice is yours.
Zachary Elliott is the pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit www.myfusionchurch.com.