Do you know those who, though they know Jesus, are still chained to their past? Have you wondered why they can’t get free and live life normally?
The truth is, we are afraid to deal with our painful past. Originally, burying it was a healthy survival technique. To get up and go the next day, we had to “stuff our stuff” into some recess of our soul and forget it, at least for now.
Then, when we were saved, all our old sins were washed away. We felt clean and had a new start on life. All that old stuff was under Christ’s forgiveness.
Sure, it occasionally comes up to our conscious mind, but what can I do about it?
Actually, it will keep coming up until we deal with it. Jesus will make sure of it. He wants us to face the truth about those past wounds and let Him heal them. This is how we are freed. Thus, burial is always temporary with these issues.
When I helped someone move out of their home of 25 years, we had to take a few loads to the landfill (I thought it was called, ‘the dump’). When we pulled in, the attendant (vis a vis ‘the garbage man’) saw two old tires in the back, he said, “You can’t dump those here. Put them off to the side and pick them up on the way out.” We obeyed, but on the way out, we saw a trailer loaded with hundreds of pounds of shredded tires pulling past the garbage man to unload.
“Hey, what’s the deal?” I complained to the guy. “We just had two lousy tires to dump and this guy has a whole trailer load of the stuff. How come he can and we can’t?”
Looking at me as if I was stupid, the man said, “See any difference between your tires and his?” I stammered, “Well, his are shredded.”
“That’s right, Einstein, that’s why he can dump his. The problem with tires isn’t that they pollute the ground. It’s that, due to their shape and the effects of soil contraction and expansion due to temperature changes, they don’t stay buried. Twenty years from now when this dump is somebody’s back yard, they’d be seeing your tires spring up in their flower garden.”
Amazing what you can learn from a landfill attendant. I gained a whole new respect for the profession.
The wounds of our past are like those old tires. We can bury them deep in the garbage dump of our memories, but sooner or later they will resurface. They don’t just go away. Worse, until they come back, they affect our emotions, thinking, decisions, and behavior, but we are often unaware of how or why we feel and act the way we do.
This is the way God made our spirits to work. When we are helpless victims in the midst of abuse, He gives us survival skills by which we can endure the trauma until we are old enough to get out of it. Then, however, our spirits must be healed and we must learn to use healthy living skills. With these, we can enjoy life and relationships in safety both from future abuse and from continual reliving the abuse from our past.