So often we allow our past to define who we are today. We don’t have hope that our future can be better, that we can be seen differently, that we can have a Godly purpose and still be used to help encourage others.

I am here today to tell you that this is not so! We CAN have this hope! Our past is just that – behind us. Yes, there have been consequences for things we have said or done, but they do not mean we are still that person today! If you have learned from your mistakes and changed your ways, then you DO have the hope available for a brighter, better future, one that can and will be used by God. Your voice will be heard.

Let me give you an example.
There was a woman who had lived a promiscuous lifestyle. She felt shame because of how she had been living, and listened to the wagging tongues of her neighbors, so she avoided being around them. To do so, she would run her errands in the heat of the day when others would be at home staying cool.

One day around noon, she saw this man sitting alone near the community’s free water supply. He was obviously not from around her town, and his type generally looked down on her type. But to her surprise, he spoke directly to her and asked for a drink. Bewildered, she began to converse with him, only to discover that he somehow had known about her promiscuous lifestyle. Yet, he still continued to talk to her! He didn’t seem to judge her for it either. Rather, he was kind and offered her an even greater drink! She realized this man was not an ordinary guy, but could possibly be even the One, the Messiah, that they had heard about coming to help them.

Suddenly, she knew she just had to share this news with her neighbors. She immediately went back into town, and began telling everyone she saw, in the middle of the day, the news of this stranger who was at their well. She no longer feared their judgmental gazes or their gossipy words of disdain. She no longer felt the shame. She wanted them to come and see this man and hear his amazing words too, and meet him personally! She was bubbling up with hope and joy inside, and it was spilling over to those around her.

As many of her townspeople were heading his way, this man named Jesus began to tell the disciples that had just returned, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”
John 4:35b-37

Did you catch that? As the men and women were coming to meet him, Jesus told his disciples to look at the fields – they are ripe for harvest. He meant the people coming toward them! The clothing in those days and even now is Middle Eastern countries was often a simple white, partly because it reflected the suns’ rays. Then Jesus told them that the one who reaps (the woman from the well) is now drawing a wage and harvesting a crop (for sharing the good news of Jesus at the well)! It is that simple.

The woman’s past no longer defined who she was. She no longer feared the people or felt shame, because she had met Jesus, and introduced her entire town to him as well. For that, she is “drawing a wage” in heaven.

As a result of her testimony, some of her town believed in Jesus. But because she shared her story with them, they heard him for themselves and they believed.
“They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Don’t let your past prevent you from your future. Jesus says this to you:
“…neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
John 8:11

Food for thought: If the Lord Jesus can forgive you, then you must forgive yourself. Regarding your past, all you have to do is a 180 degree turn, and don’t go back. Reflect on it, learn from it, but don’t go back to it like a dog does when it throws up.

Fun facts: If someone says “Well” to you, then you can say,
“It’s a hole in the ground with water in it and it’s too deep a subject for such a shallow mind”! (Just kidding… a little funny for the day.)

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Old drinking fountain