We don’t have to live long to wish we could go back and change things in our past. Perhaps we would change what happened to us, or the choices we made that we now regret. But the past is not something we can change. However, we can learn from it.
To be sure, no one makes it through life without their fair share of wounds and brokenness, past mistakes and seasons of regret.
And some days we might wish we could erase certain chapters from our story.
But like spilled milk, some things cannot be undone. And is certainly true with our past.
For many, this becomes a point of despair, as they fear the black marks in their story will forever cast a dark cloud over them.
But others are able to find their way toward renewed hope and purpose.
And the difference is not in changing our past, but rather in learning from it.
For example, we might realize how we were actually searching for life through our many vices. Or maybe we learn to see with the eyes of both righteous anger and compassionate understanding toward those who have harmed us in some way.
Whatever it looks like, the way forward is not in trying to change what has happened. It’s learning from it as we also ground ourselves in God’s story of redemption.
And, in this way, like Rahab, we learn to let our faith rather than our past have the final word in our story.
Of course, even as we attempt to live in our new story, there are many who will keep reminding us of our past – judging us only by where we’ve been rather than where we’re going.
But we must not let their shortsighted view hold us back.
In the end, while we cannot change our past, we can learn from it and discover all the good God still has in store for us.