We all have a past. We all have a story. There is no doubt that as we approach the end of 2017 we have a tendency to reflect on what the year brought us. Some of us celebrating our “best year ever” and others of us are ready for 2018, as anything is better than what we’ve experienced this year!
For me, I was thrown into situations and circumstances that I was in no way prepared for, but looking back I see that God gave me what I needed to get through. He was faithful even when I lacked faith.
Choosing to reflect back on past events is helpful only when it gives us what we need to move forward.
It is true that the past can hold us back and leave us stuck if we don’t take an insight away or grow from the experience.
Immediately, the example of Lot’s wife comes to mind. Lot was visited by angels who told him to flee the city.
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” Genesis 19:15
In response, Lot tells them why he can’t flee to where they want him to go, but instead comes up with His own solution.
But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. Genesis 19:18-22
At this point, he and his wife were instructed not to look back, so let’s see what happens.
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26
When we refuse to keep our eyes ahead, or even take steps forward, that is an act of disobedience. I’m not saying that our problems in our lives are a direct reflection of our disobedience, but I am saying that when we are stuck in our same our story, we don’t allow God to be God or give Him the ability to be the true author of our stories.
Whenever we look back we should do so to gather the insight and wisdom we need to help us move forward. The beauty of Christ is that through Him we are saved and sanctified. It is through our transformation that God promises to constantly refine us and grow us into the mature disciples He has called for us to be.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
These are the promises that allows us to press on and move forward.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
So as you reflect back on what 2017 had for you, I encourage you to do so within the lens of insight and knowledge, knowing that whatever you endured is fulfilling God’s ultimate plan of making you a mature follower of Christ.
Sweet friends, this is my prayer for you as you look back on 2017:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:17-18