Israel begins anew their positive movement of rebuilding the Temple. Three months into the project, the prophet Haggai tells them to pause to give words of encouragement and wisdom. But instead of talking about the season of blessing they will experience, he reminds them of the real mess they’re coming from.
Their procrastination was costly and painful—God withheld his blessing and their harvest was crushed with blight, mildew, and hail (Haggai 2.17).
As God encourages us to renew positive spiritual movement, we do so hoping we’ll experience his blessing in a mended marriage, restored trust, or freedom from addiction. But sometimes God allows us to look back and feel the pain caused by ignoring the problems we should’ve been addressing. God kindly allows us to look back, not for us to wallow, but to remind us the old way is painful.
It’s important to remember these memories are places we visit, not places we live. We don’t live in the sorrow and guilt of yesterday’s failures, but we do allow the sting of those failures to keep us moving in the right direction. In 2 Corinthians 7.10 Paul refers to this as “sorrow that brings repentance.”
Today, take a moment to express your gratitude to God for the “sorrow that brings repentance.” Grab your journal and thank God for his patience as he draws you back to himself. Thank him for pain as a reminder to not return to that way again, and for his forgiveness as the shame and guilt of our past are nailed to the cross.
May the pain of your past result in thankfulness toward the God who faithfully leads us into his incredible plan for our life.