Each one of us comes to God with a past. In turning our life over to him, we give him our entire self, including our past losses and shame. We hand over to him every moment of disgrace, every tear we have ever cried, every word we wish we could take back, all the broken promises, the loneliness, all the dreams that died, the dashed hopes, the broken relationships, our successes and failures — all of our yesterdays and the scars they have left in our life.
Under Old Testament law, if someone lost freedom, property, or spouse because of a disaster or a debt, the next of kin was looked to as a “redeemer.” If property had been lost because of inability to pay, the redeemer would pay for it and return it to the original owner. If a woman lost her husband, the redeemer would marry her, providing her with protection and love. God tells us, “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood. For your Creator will be your husband; the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer. … For the lord has called you back from your grief” (Isaiah 54:4-6).
God is our Redeemer, the restorer of our losses. He is Lord of all, even of our days and our dreams in the past. When we give God the past, he can make up for all we have lost. He can rid us of the shame and fill the empty places in our heart.