by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest Blogger, Martin Wiles  @linesfromgod

My guest today is Martin Wiles.  I know Martin through his work with Christian Devotions and as a fellow author with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He has a heart that yearns to know God more and a deep compassion for those who are searching for the Lord he loves. Together we pray that the words of his heart will touch you and give you strength for the journey. Is there something you’re trying to let go – something painful from your past? Maybe a regret? Maybe a void in your heart? Maybe a wound that runs deep? Ponder Martin’s words and allow Jesus to set you free.

Welcome Martin!

She often wrestled with her past. Some days, she
felt as if she was winning; others, she wasn’t sure. Beth was the oldest of
three siblings. They grew up in a loving home, but there was one thing that
scarred her memory. The words “I love you.” 

Beth could only remember her father speaking them
when she was a young girl. Somewhere along the way, he stopped telling her. But
she could never remember hearing those words from her mother. Her sisters
confessed they hadn’t either. Their home had a loving atmosphere. It would just
have been nice to hear love in addition to seeing it in actions.

As adults, the siblings psychoanalyzed their
parents. While both of them grew up in loving homes, neither grew up in homes
where love was spoken. Beth made a decision before she married and had
children. She would say the words she rarely heard. She was tired of wrestling
with her past. 

In the book of Genesis, we learn that Jacob wrestled with his past. He had stolen his
older brother’s birthright. Then he had tricked his father and stolen his
brother’s final blessing. Jacob’s brother hated him and swore to kill him. He ran.
Many years later—while on his way back to face his brother—Jacob wrestled with God
over his past mistakes.

Like everyone else, I have things in my past I
wrestle with. Ruminating on the misery of my mistakes or the bad atmospheres I
endured does nothing for my present or future. Only as I think about what I can
do differently—or avoid altogether, is my present and future affected. 

Beth decided she wouldn’t be a prisoner of her
past. When she married and had children, she often told them “I love you.”
Jacob wouldn’t either. Even if it was painful. 

My past can haunt or help me. The choice is mine.
I am who I am because of it, but I can also change who I am because of it.
There’s much I can learn from my past—positive and negative.

The past is set in stone, but my present and
future are pliable. With God’s guidance, I can enhance them both. A part of me
is what I was, but most of me is what I choose to become. 

Are you winning when you wrestle with your past?
This left
Jacob all alone in the camp, 
and a man came and wrestled with him until dawn.  
Genesis 32:24 NLT
Prayer: Father, help us use our pasts to our
advantage rather than allowing them to destroy us.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Meet Martin: 
Martin Wiles is a
“preacher’s kid,” author and speaker who understands the struggles
believers face. He can be followed on Love Lines From God ( Dr. Wiles has been published in The Secret
Place and Light From The Word, and is a regular contributor to Christian
Devotions. He is also a regular columnist for the Common Ground Herald
newspaper. Wiles has authored Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity and Grace Greater
Than Sin. He and his wife Michelle reside in Greenwood, South Carolina. His
most recent book, Grits & Grace & God, is available on Amazon.
Find Grits & Grace & God on Amazon here.