Life is perpetually moving forward. Even as I’m writing this right now, life is moving forward, not backward. We can use our memories, photos, scrapbooks, journals, Facebook, Timehop, to remember things in our past, but life will never move in that direction. Everything that has happened to us or that we have experienced or that we have done is in the unchangeable past. What we do with what happened to us or what we have experienced or what we have done makes up our present and our yet-to-be-determined immediate future. There are some things that are determined to be in the future, but even the normally safe assumption, “I will wake up tomorrow morning,” is not a guaranteed truth.
Sometimes our circumstances can become so overwhelming that we develop a narrow tunnel vision. We begin to lose perspective. We begin to fear, to doubt, to question, to lose sight of what is most important. I think that if we focus too much on our circumstances we become self-focused and have a hard time seeing the bigger picture..seeing the purpose behind pain, difficulty and suffering.
Keeping a broad view doesn’t diminish the acuteness of agony that pain and suffering bring, but it does help us to understand that Jesus Christ endured torture, beatings, mocking, and horrific crucifixion so that you and I could have a right relationship with God. This doesn’t take away the present hardships and difficulties but I think it gives us a hope and joy that this is all worth it. This is all worthwhile to serve the risen Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what we endure, he is there to walk through it with us.
God may not take us out of the circumstance or choice or situation, but He is faithful to walk with us through it. Guiding, directing, leading, loving, caring, restoring, healing, conforming, drawing.
Acts 27:24 reveals God’s response to a crazy situation the Apostle Paul found himself in:
and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
Paul was in the middle of a storm, at sea, in a boat that was getting ready to sink. An angel of God appeared to him and told him not to be afraid because he still had work to do for the Lord.
When I am in the middle of a storm in life, I know it is my normal reaction to focus on the storm, to see how big the waves are, how strong the wind is blowing, how cold and dark everything around me is. But, I also know that my normal reaction is not a reaction based in faith, but is a result of my flesh. So my encouragement to you is to keep pushing forward, to keep strong in your faith, to trust in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, to walk with you and trust in God’s Holy Spirit to guide and direct the way you are going.
The way out of a storm? Moving forward through the storm through the power of God available to you when you trust in Him. Put away insecurities and fears and trust in God. Keep moving forward because if you’re still alive, you’ve still got work to do.