Don’t You See It?
Written by Pastor Eric Everhart
My final days before leaving the military was a tough time of transition for me and for my family. I had been doing something I loved so very much for the past 17 years, it was all I knew, and the thought of leaving it almost broke me. I had just returned home from my final deployment in Iraq and the process of medically departing from the Army began. I was still struggling with PTSD, all the mental and physiological “junk” that came with that, as the life I knew and loved so well was being taken away from me. This was a very tough time in my life and letting go was even harder.
After my departure from the Army, anger, bitterness, extreme anxiousness, and a cold heart set in. I was mad at the whole world. I began to ask questions. “Who am I now?” ”What good am I?” And even, “What’s the point of living anymore?” My days were spent feeling sorry for myself, reminiscing on the way it was, the things I used to do, the importance the Army gave my life, and the pain I was dealing with from my seperation. Depression took hold, and alcohol became the numbing agent for my pain. The pain of remembering and trying to hold onto my past was too difficult for me to do without a drink…or two…or a lot. “What is the point of living if I’m going to lose everything I am?”
My amazing family and the church rallied around me like a code blue in the hospital. They showed me patience, walked with me through the junk, stood by my side. They didn’t judge, and most importantly, they loved me. And, in the midst of it all, a deep truth was revealed to me, I was so busy trying to hold onto what was, that I was going to lose what could be. I was so focused on what I had “lost” that I almost lost everything that was right in front of me: my marriage, my family, friends, and the life God had planned for me in the future. I was so busy grieving “what was” that I was willing to give up everything God had already given to me. It was right in front of me, but I couldn’t see it.
A passage from Isaiah 43 spoke loud and clear to me then and even today…..“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”
As we venture into the New Year, what are some of the things in your life that you’re having a hard time letting go of? Are there things that you are holding onto that are keeping you from seeing what God has placed right in front of you?
Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that letting go is easy or that you have to forget–but holding onto those things creates in us a heart of bitterness, anger, and sometimes resentment. Maybe there is someone you need to forgive, maybe your senior year did not go the way you thought it would, maybe you have been hurt in a relationship, maybe you got some bad news from the doctor, or maybe there is some hurt in your family. Whatever it is that you’re holding onto, if you hold onto it long enough, it will consume you and eventually define you. If this happens, you just might lose sight of the blessings God has placed all around you (family, friends, your marriage, your faith).
Brothers and sisters, there is more to trusting God than just saying you do…it’s actually letting go. You will never walk on water unless you fix your eyes on Christ and “let go” of the boat. As the passage says, forget about what was, be alert, and be present. God is doing something new in your life………..DO YOU SEE IT or is the stuff you’re holding onto blocking your view?
With all my love and all of God’s grace to each of you, Pastor E
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