Thirty-First Day of Lent

Scripture: Isaiah 43 

Quite often I find myself looking back and wishing I had invested in some stock that is worth millions today. I wish I had bought a house in Winnipeg ten years earlier than I did, but hindsight is always 20/20-so they say. “If only…” is one of my favourite past times. “If only I had saved more money.” “If only I hadn’t made that mistake.” “If only I spent more time practicing guitar.” “If only I had studied more in school.” However, thinking in if onlys causes us to miss the new thing that God is doing.

Verse 18 tells us not to remember the former things. At first this seemed strange to me because God is reminding Israel of the former things in the same passage. As I thought about it more I realized God doesn’t want Israel to forget about His work, but to forget about the if only. “If only we had obeyed.” “If only we hadn’t gone astray.” “If only we had trusted God.”

God himself says in verse 25 that He will blot out their transgressions and remember their sin no more. He wants them to focus on the new thing. He doesn’t want their attention on their past, but on the future God is bringing into existence. In this season of Lent, while we are called to repentance, we are also called to walk forward in hope believing that God is in fact doing a new thing.

Lord, help me overcome the temptation to live in the land of if only. Help me to live in the present and expectantly await the new thing you are doing.

Amen.

Bryan Sandstrom
Holy Community Covenant Church
Winnipeg, MB