Have you ever wondered why God takes us back to a specific memory or time in our lives when revisiting some of the dark times can be a very painful experience?
Even allowing ourselves a fleeting look in that direction can open up a flood of pain and emotions. Yet, there are times that God gently asks us to go back, to take another look. He does this not because He is cruel or uncaring and takes delight in our pain. He doesn’t do this to aggravate our wounds, or to cause further hurt & injury or emotional harm.
Rather He draws us back to specific memory in order to bring us healing, because only when we experience His healing are we able to move on…..to walk with victory and live in freedom.
I am reminded of Hagar in Genesis 16. As the story unfolds we find that when Hagar was pregnant with Abraham’s child, his wife Sarah mistreated her. Sarah treated Hagar appallingly and with such harsh contempt that it caused her to flee into the wilderness.
But it was there that the Angel of the Lord spoke to Hagar. Genesis 16: 7-9, “Now the angel of the Lord found her….by the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.”
Why would the angel of the Lord ask this of Hagar? Surely nothing could have been more distressing. Yet God called Hagar to go back. Return to your mistress; go back to where you have suffered. And while Hagar must have been distressed and even bewildered at God’s command, He gave her a promise…..Genesis 6:10, “I will greatly multiply your descendents so that they shall be too many to count.”
What I get from that is that when the Lord prompts us to return to our places or memories of pain and suffering we can be certain of His promise of restoration, His promise of healing and the hope for our futures.
(On a side note, please know that what it is not saying is that if you are in an abusive situation you are to go back, I don’t believe for one moment that is what it is referring to.)
Isaiah 51:3 says; “The Lord will surely comfort Zion. And will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her deserts like Eden, Her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, And thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
Our Heavenly Father specializes in restoration…..it’s His greatest work!!
I like what author Ruth Graham says; “God loves to create order out of chaos. Consider where He started in Genesis, bringing order to an earth that was “formless and void” (Genesis 1:2). God likewise steps into our ruins, picks up the pieces, and reassembles our mistakes, hurts, faults, and failed plans in ways that are wonderful and surprising. He never wastes anything.”
God will make our deserts like Eden. He looks upon us with tender love and compassion. He doesn’t condemn us, rather He sees hope….He sees a future where we only see shards & ruins. His desire and hope for us is to bring us out of our tragedies, our devastation, our wreckage, our ruins….. Healed, strengthened, set free, and with a new song in our hearts. This is His promise. Joy and gladness will be found in her!!