I know a man that lost his wife over ten years ago. She was killed in an automobile accident. It was a very tragic situation. Of course, there is a normal period for grieving. That’s a part of the healing process. That’s the way God made us. But some ten years later, this man was still grieving. He let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning. He ended up a very bitter, angry man. What happened? He was holding on to the ashes. God wanted to give him beauty, but because he wouldn’t let go of the old, he couldn’t receive the new.
The enemy would love for you to spend your whole life sitting in the ashes, bitter over a relationship that didn’t work out, angry over a job you didn’t get, feeling sorry for yourself because of a loved one who died. It’s time to turn those ashes loose. If you went through a divorce, let it go. God has somebody better in your future. If you weren’t treated right growing up, let it go, and God will make it up to you. Quit mourning over what you cannot change. If God wanted you to have that position that you didn’t get, you would have it. Shake off the self-pity. Shake off the disappointment.
The apostle Paul put it this way, “Forgetting what lies behind, I strain toward what lies ahead.” That word “strain” indicates it’s going to take effort. If you go through a bad break or a loss, the easy thing to do is sit around and talk about how bad life is treating you. But if you’re going to keep moving forward, you’ve got to have a strong will. You’ve got to rise up like Paul and say, “That’s it. I am not holding on to these ashes. I know that what’s in my future is greater than what’s in my past. So I am pressing forward into the life of blessing God has in store for me!”