Posts Tagged ‘circumstances’

Life in the Rear-view Mirror

          szo0343One thing is certain, life is forever changing. Each season of life presents new challenges, emotions and its own share of confusion. Just when we think we have figured it out a whole new set of circumstances comes along and presents us with a new and sometimes different view of life than what we had expected or maybe even desired. This has never been truer for so many Americans than during the past few years.

          While there are those natural seasons that life passes through such as the dating season, the child rearing season and the empty nest season, there are also those external circumstances that can alter life’s path. Financial issues, health issues, job changes, relocation, family concerns and a host of other possibilities may come along and upset our apple cart causing us worry and stress, producing a level of anxiety we would much rather avoid. It is during these moments when we are tempted to reflect back on a happier more stable time. We may long for life to be the way it used to during “the good old days”.

          It is our human nature to long to go back. We desire to return to the comfort of an existence that is familiar. Sometimes that existence may not have been all that wonderful but it was one we understood. When God delivered the nation of Israel out of the land of Egypt and into the wilderness, their view of life changed dramatically. After four hundred years of captivity He freed them and intended to take them to the “Promised Land” but they soon felt challenged, bewildered and afraid. They longed to return to their life in Egypt. (Num.14:4) Human nature caused them to desire their previous life of hardship rather than to obey and trust God to cross the Jordan River and receive their inheritance, a land flowing of milk and honey. Because of their disobedience God caused them to wander in the desert for forty years. It would be the next generation that would cross over and inhabit the paradise chosen by God for His people.

          Looking in the rear view mirror may give us a distorted view of the past. While I think memories are healthy and wonderful (I personally love nostalgia) we must be careful not to focus too intently on life as it was. Such a focus may cause us to remember only the more pleasant aspects while forgetting the unpleasant ones. Worse, it may cause us to miss what God is trying to do in our lives because we are too busy wishing to recreate the past rather than trusting in His promises. Only by understanding our own nature can we come to a place of faith and trust in His nature. Reliance upon human nature will only cause us to continually repeat the mistakes of the past. The nation of Israel repeated the same mistake time and time again until they were completely disbanded and disbursed as a nation in 70 AD. They were scattered all over the world from that time until May 14th, 1948 when once again they became a nation. This was the fulfillment of prophecy in accordance with God’s Holy Word.

          His plan always is the best plan. His promises never fail. If we gaze too intently in the rear-view mirror while navigating the highway of life we are heading for calamity. Choose to look forward in expectation of what might be rather than what has been. Faith requires us to move forward without seeing. Faith requires us to trust God for the future. In the words of Jesus (Luke 9:62) “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Actually, two things are certain. Life always changes, and God is always never does.