“Why is there a skeleton in my body?” – Phoebe
The thought of a scary skeleton inside her own body was too much for Phoebe. We tried to explain that bones hold us together and give our body structure. She looked at her arms as if she expected the bones to explode outward and get her.
As adults we worry about “skeletons in our closet” – a reference to the bad deeds of our past. Events we want to keep hidden. But I am not sure we keep these things safely locked in our closet. We often carry them with us.
We carry the guilt. We carry the regret. We allow these events to define who we are – at least in our own minds.
But this is not our reality in Christ. He came to replace, to remake, to rebuild. He transforms us from the inside out. As Paul declares, “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”Ro8:1 Even the skeletons of our past do not remain to condemn us.
Yet it is not just negative events. We carry around positives as well. Our successes. Carrying – remembering – our success is a good thing, because it can push us forward. But at times, the past can be a place to which we want to return. We see the past moment as better than anything we have or WILL experience.1
Both of these skeletons reject the truth of Christ. The call of Christ is not backward, but forward. We are to follow Him into a better future. He has plans to prosper us, to give us the desires of our hearts (even as he remakes our heart along the way). No sin from the past can hold back His plans.
The only thing in the way is ourselves. Not our sins or lack in talent. But our choice not to follow Him there. To the place He has for us … today!
1 Inside the church there is a strong current to return to a generation of the past. Part of this desire roots in a selective memory, forgetting the problems of the past. Maybe we have come to believe the television reruns – rather than reality? A higher percentage of folks did go to church in the 1950’s, but the country had separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites. God is not seeking to go back to that time – he used Martin Luther King Jr to bring change. And He is calling out His vision today – as He looks toward a brighter future. Will we keep staring at yesterday or will we follow Him today and into His tomorrow?