A “Whoa!” Moment /
Sometimes my own brain freaks me out. Thoughts pop up about random stuff which makes me wonder where that thought came from. Sometimes it makes me think hard about topics, other times it makes me think there is something wrong with my brain!
Last week I was on vacation and we were visiting my parents, way up North in Michigan. In the morning my mom had been to the doctor, and as she was walking in, a friend of hers was walking out and was crying. She approached her and tried to be consoling, but she was waved off by someone who just wanted privacy at that moment.
At lunch my Mom had the prayer over our food and as part of the prayer she said something which blew me away. She said “…and Lord let whatever [my friend] found out at the doctor not have been too bad…” This blew me away because of the aspects of what she had said. Whether she knew it or not my mom was, very directly, asking God to change the past.
Whoa! Talk about a “Keanu Reeves Matrix moment” in my head.
I would have worded it very differently. I probably would have said something like “If what her friend learned at the Doctor’s was very bad, please heal her and work it out for the best.” But mom had literally asked God to change the past. This friend of hers had already gotten the news from the Doctor. She was already crying about it. Mom basically said “No, biggy, God can just change it.” Whoa! Talk about a “Keanu Reeves Matrix moment” in my head.
This got me thinking; God is God. He isn’t linear like we are. He doesn’t flow through time from one moment to the next as we do. He exists in all time at once, this is, in effect how I understand Him to be omnipresent. When the Pharisees were scorning Jesus because he had claimed to know Abraham, He replied to them in John 8:58 “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
I spent a couple days pondering the concept of God changing the past. Can He do it? I cannot see why not. He is God. Would He do it on our request? This is a bit steeper. We are told that He would grant anything we ask in his name if we ask with sincere hearts. Does He do it? This is where it really freaked my brain out, because if He does, how would we ever know? We wouldn’t remember. My head buzzed for a couple days on this sort of thing.
But this is what I would call “Theoretical Theology”. Kind of like theoretical physicists sit around and ponder what might be possible in the realm of physics without the ability to test it and observe if they are right. It is kind of fun to think about but not exactly productive in the daily lives of people.
Here is something much more important in the realm of everyday life theology. God can change our pasts but not, necessarily, in the way I was referring. He can change our pasts by taking all the sins that we have committed in the past and wiping them away.
Psalm 103:11-13 tells us For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For those who love and respect the Lord, sometimes translated as “fear” the Lord, He will remove all our transgressions, our sins, from us as far as the East is from the West! And we are told in 1 John 1:6-9. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Does God reach into what we see as “the past” and change things? I don’t know, and it is rather silly to dwell on such a non-tangible line of thinking. But I know this; He has changed my past. He changed it by removing the effect it has on my future and He can do the same for you.