I belong to several internet talk-lists. Some are for writers, some are for people who enjoy Southern Gospel Music but as you are on these lists you get to know many of the people there very well.
Several months ago, one lady on a Southern Gospel Music list, talked about how in a church service she realized she must learn to trust God to handle the things in her past. The phrase 'trust Me with your past' played over and over in my head for days. One day sitting while taking a lunch break at work, I wrote a poem entitled 'Trust Me With Your Past'. I shared this poem with several friends mostly on the internet.
One friend, Jean, printed out her copy because she said it spoke to her heart so much, she wanted to share it with another friend. She was busy that day and left the copy of the poem lying on a counter between her dining room and kitchen. Jean worked several days a week in an office and several out of her home. On this particular Friday she was working at home.
About mid-afternoon, one of Jean's co-workers, Carol, dropped by Jean's house. Carol had a few books and a tape she had borrowed from Jean that she wanted to return. Jean is the type of person, if you come to her home you must have a cup of coffee or some tea and talk for a few minutes. She left Carol in the dining room to go fix them something to drink.
When Jean came back into the dining she found Carol in tears. Carol couldn't or wouldn't explain, she just said she had to go, she couldn't stay and rushed out the door. Carol had been upset a lot lately and there seemed to be nothing anyone could say that helped the matter. Jean wondered what was wrong but she could only let her go and tell her as she went out the door, 'I'll be praying for you".
Jean went about doing her work until time to go to visit with her friends, she looked for the poem to take it with her but could not find it. She searched every room but could not find where she had put it.
The next morning Jean got a call. It was Carol and there was an amazing change in her voice. She was not sad, as she had been for weeks. She was joyful and excited. Carol shared what had happened the previous day.
"Jean, I felt my life was over. I did not wish to go on. I spent yesterday 'cleaning house' so to speak. I was returning things that belonged to others and putting things in order. I had some pills that the doctor had given me to help me sleep and I planned to take them all once I got back home that night."
Jean said that at this point Carol broke down again. "Jean, as I walked up to the bar, there was a poem 'Trust Me With Your Past'. I read it and I felt that it told all about my confusion and my distress. It touched my very heart.
"I took the poem with me when I left. I read it over and over once I got to my house. Everytime I looked at the bottle of pills, I heard that phrase going over in my head, 'Trust Me With Your Past'. Finally about midnight, I called a pastor I knew. I told he and his wife what I had planned, they came to my home immediately."
"Finally, I understood, I was the one holding on to the horrible things that had happened to me. God was not holding them against me; I wouldn't let them go, so He could work in my life. He could not work until I let them go."
By this time Jean and Carol were both in tears and Jean asked Carol's permission to tell me what had happened as a result of the poem. Carol's response was, "Tell her, tell anyone, I know there are others out there who feel the same guilt and pain that I felt. They need to know, let it go, trust God with your past."
As Jean relayed the story to me, I too
shed tears. I was moved that something I had written touched someone
else. I knew this was why I wrote. So that others would hear
and would know the joy that passes all understanding.
Trust Me With Your Past
"You can trust Me with
your past" I heard the Master say
"But Lord, there is so much back there, too much for You today,
For You are handling problems that I am facing now,
So I won't cast these burdens, I'll handle them somehow."
My burdens grew much heavier,
I fell beneath the load,
The mountain loomed before me, I could not walk this road.
I could not walk for crying, "My load is hard to bear."
I did not see an answer, in spite of all my prayer.
"Lord, please lift this
burden, the load I have today."
"I'll take all your burdens," I heard the Savior say.
"But Lord, just this burden is all I ask of You."
"Child, trust Me with them all, that's what I ask of you."
"For if you chose the burdens,
I'll lift and take away,
You hinder what I'm doing, your will is in my way.
For every load and burden, they're joined, don't you see?
So when you hold to one, you keep them all from Me."
"But, Lord, the past is
ugly and there's bitterness and pain
And I've really tried to leave them and I'm afraid to try again.
For every time I take them, to give them up to you,
When I pick them up, as leaving, it seems the size it grew."
"For even tiny burdens
when I pick them up again
Are heavier each time, that they have ever been."
"Trust Me with your past, child, that's what I ask of you.
But til you let it go, there's so much I can not do."
"I will not take it from
you , you must give it to Me.
But til you give it freely, the weight will grow, you see.
I do not understand why you will not give to Me
The burdens and the sorrows that will not set you free."
"Trust Me with your past,
all the pain to heal
And when in Me you fully trust, My joy I will reveal.
For til you trust Me fully, for the present, future and the past,
I can not fully show to you, My joy that will always last.
Copyright @ 1999 D. Ann Bailey
Dee Ann Bailey is a column writer for the Gospel Voice magazine. You can see this poem as well as many others in the September, 2000 release of Poetry, Southern Gospel Style. Check out Dee's website to learn more about her or to find out how you can receive Poetry, Southern Gospel Style.