By Miguel Padilla
Intern Pastor at St. Paul UMC
San Antonio, TX
First, read Psalm 22
When I was younger, I remember how much I rejected people saying “I remember when I was younger….” I rejected it because normally they used to point out how bad our generation was in comparison with their generation. A few months ago, I caught myself using the same phrase. I couldn’t avoid shaking my head and smiling.
The past is important, because it shapes us for good or for bad. Some people dwell in it, and some dismiss it or ignore it. I ask myself a question: what is the right way to look into the past? Then I read psalm 22. And the Psalmist gave me an idea. The past is an important source of awareness.
The past should help me to find new strength. It calls me to remember from how many situations God has given me the victory over many troubles and tribulations. It also reminds me that I am not alone in this struggle, because my brother and sister has passed through similar situations and God has delivered them as well.
The past should give us a foundation in order to look into the future. The Psalmist recognized that the situation in which he or she is is not a walk in the park. It is a dark moment. He or she feels that God and everyone has abandoned him or her. But the remembrance of the many victories that God gave him or her and the victories of the community, these victories will strengthen his or her faith to trust in God and to worship in the middle of the storm.
I read somewhere that “evil always tries to convince us that we are powerless, but we have a full access to God’s grace.” God’s grace is present in the past, present and it will be in the future. When we feel forsaken, let’s not forget to look toward the cross and know that God raised his son from death, and we will raise with him.
During this Lent time, make time to look into your past and recall all the victories that God has given you. How will you share them with others?
1. Could you summarize them into 3 minute stories?
2. Why is important to share your story?
3. What other creative ways could be used to share your story?