Not long ago I wrote about how God has continued to deal with me in the area of living in the present instead of having regrets and resentments about the past and fears concerning the future.
This has been the theme of a number of pieces I’ve written over the past several years. One reason is because I keep failing in this area. I do believe God is trying to bring me a vital truth and is also urging me to pass this truth along to others.
So lately as I’ve been determined to live in the present, I ran into something that can keep me focused on the past. That is when people bring up something I did wrong. It can be an action from yesterday or some way I failed a decade or more ago.
That happened recently when my adult daughter recalled out loud to me what I did wrong as a mom many years ago. She didn’t do it to be mean, but was just thinking back to her growing up years and told about an incident that happened which she didn’t like.
It had to do with food. She said (and I don’t remember this) that I tried to feed her and and my other daughter some meat that was past its prime and seemed like it was spoiled.
I confess that I hate to waste food, and it might have happened that I determined after eating some myself that it wasn’t spoiled and urged them to eat it.
I apologized, but still that comment brought me back to the past and thinking about all the ways I had fallen short as a mom. Regret began to creep in and threatened to ruin a nice day and special time with family.
Instead of falling into the trap of being filled with regret about the past, I asked God to bring me back to and keep me in the present.
And when He did, this is what happened.
I remembered that this same daughter had also complained a number of times that I had many outdated bottles in the refrigerator. Some days when she was over visiting she would go to use something and ask, “How old is this?” She’d look at the date and say, “Mother, you have to get rid of this old, outdated food.” Sometimes she’d throw a bottle or two away.
I’d be surprised when I looked at the product since it would seem that it was only weeks instead of years ago that I had bought it.
So in the present, I dealt with the issue that was brought up from the past.
The day after my daughter’s comment, I went through every product in my refrigerator and dumped out the contents of each into the sink if it was outdated. (Of course I had to save the bottles for recycling.)
In all there were at least 15 bottles of salad dressings, mustard, marinades and other outdated food products—some more than two years past their “best by” dates. I determined that I would use up food products I bought instead of letting them languish in the fridge.
And I felt better after doing that. I reported my “present” actions to my daughter, and she was pleased.
As I was busy doing my dumping into the sink, I thought of three things that keep me in the present. They are praises, prayers, and promises. As I praise the Lord for all I have right now, pray to Him about the present concerns of my heart, and also embrace the promises in His Word which apply to this present moment, I am able to live in the now.
One promise I’m reminded of that I love is from Psalm 16:11:
“In Your presence is fullness of joy…” AMP
I have access to God’s presence only in the present, so it is also true that in the present there is fullness of joy.
Thank You, Lord, for bringing me this life-changing truth.