When I was a young boy, I decided I would get on the roof of my house. I thought it would be incredible! I thought I could see my grandparents’ house from the top of our roof. I was sadly mistaken. We had a one-story house surrounded by trees, and my grandparents lived over five miles away. After realizing there was no way to see my grandparents’ house, I decided it was time to get down. I planned to jump onto the ground, but as I walked to the edge of the roof, that eight-foot drop felt more like a 50-foot drop, and I froze in fear.

It wasn’t too long before I started yelling for my Dad. He came out, looked up at me and told me to get down, and I explained to him that I couldn’t. It was too far of a drop. When he told me to jump to him, I couldn’t do that either. Fear had overcome me. We are talking about a three-foot jump into my Dad’s arms, and my Dad is not a wee little man. I couldn’t help but think about all the things that could go wrong and how I was going to get hurt. But my Dad kept reminding me that he could catch me, that he could keep me safe, and that all I needed to do was trust him. I jumped, and he caught me. I was safe, but then I was in trouble.

Fear can and will cripple us.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
— Proverbs 12:25

We all can relate to this. It seems like life is going great, and then suddenly, I get focused on something from my past. It’s like a small voice in the back of my head telling me that I’m not good enough, that I can’t do it. I feel weighed down and not willing to “jump.” When we listen to the wrong voice, we focus on our past, not our future.

We need to identify the voices that are talking to us. God does not use your past against you (Romans 8:1). That is forgiven. So any time guilt and shame are spoken over you, remind yourself who is doing the talking. Our God is the God of redemption and the God of restoration. If he brings up the past, it’s because he is going to use it for your good and for the good of others.

The enemy wants to weigh you down, and the only way to let go of that weight is to trust God with your past. Allow him to take the burden from you. His death and resurrection are proof that you were not supposed to carry that weight. So trust him and jump.