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I Am Here, Not There

I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a path right through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses, to lie beneath the waves, dead, their lives snuffed out like candlewicks.

But forget all that - it is nothing compared to what I'm going to do! For I'm going to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Don't you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for my people to go home, and create rivers for them in the desert! The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and ostriches too, for giving them water in the wilderness, yes; springs in the desert, so that my people, my chosen ones, can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and these my people will some day honor me before the world. Isaiah 43:16-21 (TLB)

Victoria Walsh lives in Montana. While straightening up a few bottles and jars on her bathroom counter one morning, she found herself lost n a memory of a bathroom in an apartment she had rented when she was young. It wasn't a happy memory, and her mood started sinking. But then she said to herself, "I'm not there, thank God." And the memory evaporated, to her great relief.

For a long time, Victoria fought a losing battle with bad memories. They entered her mind like a train she couldn't stop. Once they were there, she was caught up in a vortex, wrestling disturbing emotions, over analyzing, and futilely trying to redo events.

But lately the Lord has been showing her simple ways to give these intrusions to God. Just saying something like, "Thank you, Jesus, that I'm here and not there," or, "Praise you that my life is so much better now, God," stops the memory and brings Victoria back to the present.

After so many years of struggle, she is amazed and delighted to be able to replace the bad memories of the past with God's refreshing love and blessings in her life today. Victoria is reminded that the Lord has set her free (see Jn. 8:36).

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for helping us bear our burdens and for breathing new hope into us, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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