Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking Forward

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!”
 (Isaiah 43:18).

 A new year brings new hopes, dreams, and resolutions.  Living with ongoing health issues however, I sometimes struggle with remembering what life was like in the past rather than looking forward, and changes are hard to accept.  At times I grieve over my losses, and I can appreciate my memories and be thankful for all I experienced before.  Yet this is my life now, and if I truly believe that God is always good and always in control, then I should be looking forward.

God is using these trials to conform me into the image of Christ.  I am a much more thankful person now, appreciating not only every pain-free moment but also the countless times that He has enabled me to enjoy things through the pain.  I am slowly learning what things are important in God’s eyes rather than being overly concerned about accomplishing my own personal agenda.  I have a much stronger reliance and dependence on the Lord and more compassion for those who suffer.  Some of these changes may not have been possible without experiencing health problems of my own.

God says not to dwell on the past.  He is doing a new thing in each of our lives – a much better thing in the light of eternity.  I want to remember that thought as I go through life struggling to enjoy things while hurting or giving certain things up.  As the new year begins, I can rest in knowing that God’s love and mercy have sustained me in the past, and will continue to do so in the days and months ahead.  One day I will have an unending eternity of pain-free existence with God.  Until then, “forgetting what lies behind, and straining toward what is ahead, we press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

Prayer:  O Lord, you are the God of my past, present, and future.  As I begin this new year, help me to balance thankfulness for my past with faith for my future.  Amen.

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