It is that time of year, again, where everyone reflects on the past year. George Santayana
wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” A brief moment of self-reflection goes a long way to avoid past mistakes. So here is my brief reflection:
I was wrong – God was right – everything else just doesn’t matter.
Not to be flippant, but if I am trusting the Lord, I can be content with what God has given me. Godly advice is always welcome, but in the end it is the Father’s hand that will guide me. Job’s friends where loquacious advisors. Yet, they threw words to the wind just to hear the echoes of their own voices. Job, on the other hand, was seeking answers to a dilemma that could only be found in the voice of God.
Difficult situations require difficult answers. Sometimes those answers never come. The oft-heard question of “why” escapes even the ardent believer facing difficult circumstances. Why are my coworkers so difficult? Why can’t I find a job? Why is my spouse leaving me? Why did my loved one die? Why won’t God answer?
How has this past year fit this, so bleak a picture? Ah, yes, even a pastor, dedicated to the work of God, goes through hard times, difficult moments, and seasons of questions. Are people listening? Have I loved enough? Could I have done something different? What difference have I made?
However, too much self-reflection can lead to depression, isolation, paralysis, and self-occupation. Instead of thinking about the past, which I cannot change, looking to the future and focusing on what God has called me (us) to do, will change everything.
Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.
Therefore, I want to love more and better, share the gospel clearly, preach with conviction, worship more passionately, care more fully, and trust the Lord more fervidly. As always, I will struggle, but I will press on. I will grow weary, but I will not give up. I will get discouraged, but I will trust God. I will get depressed, but I will rejoice in the Lord.
The last week of 2011 is quickly coming to an end, and I have come to learn two inescapable truths; “with God all things are possible” and “in Christ, I can do all things.” I’m just saying…