You all are in for a treat today as guest blogger, Ashley Carr, explores the idea of dredging up the past and what God can do about it. Check it out…
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Do you ever dredge up the past?
The term dredging refers to the act of bringing up mud and debris from the bottom of a body of water. When we dredge up the past it stirs up what had previously been settled.
This happened to me recently and it was quite unexpected. I was drinking my morning coffee and reading my Bible. As I read in Proverbs, I was very moved by the wisdom before me. But I was not moved to apply it to myself, instead I found my mind dredging up times in the past when other people in my life could have used this wisdom. I was shocked at the muck I was able to stir back up. Even as it was happening I thought to myself, “I thought that these things had been dealt with,” but unfortunately, they still were lurking under the surface. I actually closed my eyes and envisioned an underwater dredge and all the gunk and debris that it stirred up in the water. As I sat there swimming in the old muck, with my Bible opened before me, I prayed over these past hurts once more, like I have done a hundred times before.
I would like to tell you that for the rest of the day all the troubles floated away….but no, more stuff dredged up. I found myself asking, “Why do these things keep coming back up?!?” It was at that very moment that I was reminded of the shows my husband and I watch about people who dredge for gold in the Bering Sea in Alaska. They go to the seafloor and spend hour upon hour stirring up the mud and muck, sucking it all up in a giant tube and sending it to the boat above them. All the muck is run through a sluice box where the mud is washed away to reveal the gold that had been trapped inside.
Sadly, we all have ample mud and muck to deal with as a result of living in a fallen world. No matter how many times we have dealt with pain from the past it can easily stir up when we least expect it. When we deal with it ourselves, we often just allow it to settle back to the bottom and everything is ok until it gets stirred up again. But we can take all the muck and debris and lift it to our Heavenly Father. In His hands the grime of broken relationships and painful pasts can be carefully processed to reveal the nuggets of gold trapped within.
Romans 5:3-5 describes some of the rewards of endurance, “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Some of the most difficult things I have had to deal with have taken multiple dredgings to reveal the gold. But I can honestly say that when I allow God to work in me through the process, I have gained perseverance, character, and hope as a result. Even this morning as I did it once again, I felt a softening of my heart towards a person that I had not felt before.
In her book Holy Hygge, Jamie Erickson says, “Everyone you meet is a rough draft of the story God is writing for their life. For some, the first few chapters are messier than others.” It’s in these messy chapters where so much of the muck is produced. I shudder to think about my messy chapters and the mess I left that will end up in someone else’s sluice box. I am so thankful that God is able to redeem any situation and in the process reveal the beauty that was hidden amid all the dirt and decay.
Ultimately the battle against sin has been won already! Praise God that our mess is fully within His control.
Micah 7:19 has a supremely exciting promise, “ You will have compassion on us; you will tread our sin underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depth of the seas.” Praise God! He will hurl our iniquities where they will NEVER be dredged up again! We have a glorious future where we will be free of the muck that continues to be stirred up in this life. God is kind to reveal glimpses of that glorious future as we deal with the murky waters of today.
Ashley Carr has a heart for Jesus and loves teaching God’s word. She uses her gifting as our Bible Study Fellowship’s Teaching Leader, as well as serving in her local church. Ashley is funny, witty and has a costume for every occasion, but more than that, Ashley loves Jesus and it shows in all she does. For another post written by Ashley, see How Badly Do You Want It?