Wednesday, December 30, 2009
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18).
Living with health problems, I sometimes struggle with remembering how life used to be. Cooking and shopping are more difficult. I am not able to accomplish as many household tasks as I did before. My travels must now revolve around my more limited mobility. It is understandable to mourn these losses, but if I really believe God is always good and always in control, then I should be looking forward.
I can appreciate my memories and be thankful for all I experienced “before”, but I must believe where I am now is for my ultimate good. Am I the same person I was before my health decline? Absolutely not. Are the changes for the good? Yes! I am a much more thankful person, becoming increasingly aware of even the smallest of blessings. I am growing in endurance and perseverance as I learn to enjoy things in the midst of pain and still say they are good. I am more compassionate toward others who suffer, and I am learning to rely continually on God's strength rather than my own.
God says not to dwell on the past. He is doing a new thing in my life – a much better thing in the light of eternity. I want to remember that thought as I go through these earthly struggles and disappointments. I have no concept of the eons in eternity where I will be free of pain. Until then, “forgetting what lies 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 3:13.14).
Prayer: O Lord, You are the God of my past, present, and future. Help me to balance thankfulness for my past with faith for my future. Amen.