Do you remember the old Tarzan TV shows? The safari crowd is moving through the jungle and suddenly someone steps in the dreaded quicksand. “Don’t wiggle around!” I shout at the TV, because everyone knows doing that will just make you sink faster.
Is there really such a thing as quicksand? Yes, and you don’t have to go to Africa to get stuck in it. It’s called the Past and the Future.
And if you move around too much in either one you will surely sink faster.
I’m walking with my beloved Golden, Fannie, the other day and I am one with the world. It’s late afternoon, my favorite time to walk. The sun is fading, the shadows are falling, and it’s quiet. The Upstate air is incredibly fresh and I am vibrating at a high frequency.
Suddenly a memory of something stupid I did years ago sneaks into my present. The dreadful Past. “What an idiot,” it whispers to me. “A Christian? Ha!” the Past accuses me scornfully.
And I’m stuck in quicksand.
If I want to “take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me,”1 I’m going to have to let go of the past. I’m going to have to let go of my own stupid, and yes, evil detours, as well as what I perceive others have done to me.
But Satan will always seek to mire me in quicksand by reminding me and accusing me. Never forget his 3-D strategy: Destroy, distract, and discourage. If he can keep you out of a saving relationship with Jesus, he will destroy your soul. Failing that, he will never stop trying to distract you and discourage you.
And he so often uses the Past and the Future. But you can let go of both of these, because God is for you, God is with you, and God is before you. Your Heavenly Father wants you to appropriate his Divine Forgetfulness into your Present:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. … 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”2
“As far as the east is from the west?” Satan doesn’t want you to hear about that.
One thousand years later God was still reminding us of his unfailing forgetfulness, as Paul assuages our fears about our Past:
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation ….”3
When you surrendered and placed your full trust and dependence on Jesus, you were immediately washed clean of the Past. (You have surrendered, haven’t you? If not, what in this world are you holding onto?)
God then dropped your sins into a deep abyss and a “No fishing” sign popped up.4
Your Father never goes back fishing into that abyss to revisit your sins. Only you can do that.
So stop it. Now! No fishing in the past anymore.
Leave it there.
If You Want a Little More:
As for what others have done to you, or what’s happened to you, maybe, if you are honest with yourself, you’ll realize you really don’t want to let go. It’s become a part of you and you are stuck in the quicksand of your Past hurts – and now they are stuck to you.
The more you move around in it, the deeper you sink.
Let it go. Free yourself. Put up your own “No Fishing sign” along with God’s. The Past is past.
“Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.”5