How many times have past memories come back to haunt you? How many times do you commit in church to let those things go? You lay them at the foot of Jesus, vowing you will not take them up again?


Can I tell you, dear friend, I no longer buy this. What does it mean, to lay it at the foot of Jesus anyhow?

The Ritual


Let’s say you have a burden. Something in your past that you have been harboring. Perhaps it is unforgiveness, bitterness, or remorse. Maybe you have unresolved feelings of abandonment, abuse, a lifestyle you discovered was not pleasing to your Heavenly Father.The Weekly Ritual of past memories


You hear a moving sermon. You are compelled by all desire to release this emotional burden. You walk forward to the alter and lay it at the feet of Jesus. You pray and you shed sincere tears. For God knows how you have carried this burden for so long. The preacher said God will receive it and deal with anything you have. So you go forward to lay it at the feet of Jesus.


It felt good. Then you get up, that is if you had the courage to go down to the alter. Otherwise you knelt or stood by your chair, singing the last hymn, agreeing to lay it at the feet of Jesus.


Service is over. You feel a little lighter a little lifted. You even sleep great that night. Yet somehow, by the next morning there it is again, nagging, glaring at you with that same sinister familiar smile. The preacher said to lay it at the feet of Jesus and not take it up again. You figure you must have taken it up again.


So the next time you hope you have another chance to do the ritual all over again and maybe again. After all you have heard how God is the God of many chances. But you wish you really knew when you would actually sense that liberation of this burden that seems to be swallowing you up, inch by inch. Not to mention how guilty you feel every time you find you picked it up again.


Best Intentions


Folks truly have the best intentions. In a way, sometimes it is good to notice someone else hurting more than you. This way you feel that your own hurt is minimized. But who are you kidding?


Now you begin to be riddled with guilt, because it seems you are blowing your own issue out of proportion. The situation you are facing is surely nothing compared to your brother or sister so-and-so


Comparing yourself to one another is not wise (see 2 Corinthians 10:12) especially in matters of your hurting heart.


“For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.” Psalm 109:22


Really you do have the best intentions. You are trying to see the bright side of what you are facing by comparing your situation to someone else’s, hoping it will lighten your own. But then, where you are, there you are, and the weight of your burden seems even heavier than before.


Others may notice something is going on. And in a way, you kind of long they do. You want to know if in fact others care, like the Good Samaritan. The fact is the thief of your soul has robbed you of your joy. And just to add insult to injury, he deceitfully employed your unsuspecting loved one too. Now that makes the heart wounds sting deep. You are so bruised emotionally you can hardly move for fear of hurting more.


And possibly, you may have even given in to these feelings of hurt and lashed out at your loved one, which only surmounts your already heavy laden hurts.


A Real Relationship


The above examples are real, at least to me. How many times I have tried to lay things at the feet of Jesus, only to find they were still with me. The preacher says a few weeks later, that if you still have that burden, it is because you picked it back up again. Talk about laying even further guilt on my already hurting soul.


Then the comparison bit, well it can go one of two ways. I either see how others suffer more than I and I feel guilty over my puny excuses, or I begin to judge others for having such light weight issues and say, “sure easy for you to say your issues may be easy to lay down.” Either way it is a comparison and it is not wise.


Jesus Christ...a friend of sinners


Both leave me to question. “If I laid my burden at Jesus’’ feet, isn’t he strong enough or able enough to do something about it? And if my burden is no big deal, then why does it weigh me down so much?”


To me, laying my burden at Jesus feet is so impersonal, so ritual, and void of any real relationship with the Lord.


No, my friend, I am discovering Jesus Christ is far more concerned than that. See we live in an “instant fix” 1,2,3 steps and so one, get the result you want generation.


I have news, a broken heart is far more complicated than that, sometimes all we want is some compassion. Maybe your heart is so confused you do not know what you want, or fear to peer any more in it only to discover more issues, more brokenness.


“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalms 51:17


Online definition of relationship – the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.


I am sorry but going to Jesus saying, “Here you go,” I am leaving it at your feet and walking away, is not a real relationship.


Don’t you think your Friend will take one look at what you brought, and be able to see into your very soul?


After all He created you, and knows everything about you, and will ask, “Hey, tell me what is going on?”


Or the Lord may ask an even more direct question that only He, your Beloved Savior, would know to ask you.


A real friend seeks ways to get to the source of the matter. A wise friend will take all the necessary time to do so. Jesus is not a band aid or instant fix, He is here to transform your life by renewing of your mind with the very truth that He is.


“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32


Experiential Knowing


I am not talking “head knowledge” of the truth; I am talking truly experiencing the God of the Bible in your life. Sure there is a measure of truth to what preachers are saying, to lay your burden at Jesus feet.


But unless they truly have tasted and known that the Lord is good in this area, the best the preacher is doing is giving you an educated suggestion. Only one who has discovered the tabernacle presence of Almighty God, when they brought their burden to Jesus, can truly know.


Our Lord goes beyond your surface need of relief, and deals with the deep recesses of your heart, mind and soul. That even if the burden is not taken away, as with Paul, you are content to KNOW (experientially) that His grace IS sufficient for you.


“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8


My friend, take your burden to the feet of Jesus, but expect Him to deal with you, to care, to want to know more. He is not pushy, but He is extremely compassionate.


When past hurts haunt you and you sense that burden still around, then listen to His still small voice. Your Lord Jesus is calling you, wooing you, to spend time with Him. He is a true friend who seeks a real relationship with you.


He will more than bandage your wounds, He will pay whatever necessary to ensure you are well taken care of. Trust Him.




In His hands,
Ann Marie Moore

Past Memories that Haunt You
Picture of Scripture Look author

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