Monday, December 30, 2013

The Light of God's Future

I have been reading a book by Mark Buchanan entitled, The Rest of God. It has been a very good book that has reminded me of the restorative value of practicing a "sabbath rhythm" in our life. A pattern of drawing near to God in the midst of the busyness of our life so that He might speak those words of peace that bring stillness in the midst of the storm. Here is what God has put on my heart and what I would share with you as if writing to a friend. As I was reading this morning, I thought of you again. What I read was important for me to hear on a personal level and I pray that it would be valuable for you as well. The author makes the point that that we often define who we are based on our past. But he goes on to say that our future shapes who we are as much as our past, and maybe more. He spoke of a young woman who came to him one day who “had a desolate past, a blighted landscape of childhood neglect and sexual abuse, and stemming from this, the many broken pieces of her own bad choices.” I could relate to this pastor as he confessed his own inability to know how to guide this woman to a place of healing. He was speechless. And then God put this on his heart and it is something that is on my heart for you as well. He said:
“And then God slipped me an insight, timely as manna dropped from the sky. He showed me that her past was beyond repair, at least on my watch. If there was any good thing there to salvage, I knew not how. But in the same instant God showed me she still had a future. And it was vast, unbroken, pristine, radiant. It was a pure promise: a glory that would be revealed to her, a glory that far outweighed her “light and momentary troubles” now, the glory of the One who was coming to redeem her and transform her (2Cor 4:17). Her past was a tragedy to lament. But her future was an epic to anticipate. Which is to say: what will happen matters more than what has happened.”
I, nor this pastor who writes, would intend to minimize the past as if it doesn’t matter. And yet, we see how easy it is to become so paralyzed by our past that we cannot see any hope for our future. But we, as a Christians, have the unique ability to know ourselves, not based on our past, but instead in the light of God’s future. He is a God of redemption that brings “beauty from ashes” and “remembers our sins no more”. I pray that as you pray, and consider and seek counsel of where to go from here that you not lose sight of what God can do if He is allowed to work through our past to create a new future. As the author says in closing his thoughts:
“Apart from a compelling vision of things unseen, our lives shrink to things as they are or things as they were. Is the problem you face right now, the family issue or business fiasco or church quarrel or financial dilemma, really as large as you’ve made it out to be? Seen from the perspective of eternity, does it not scale down to more modest proportions? It’s the same with your past. It’s easy to let the hurts and slights of yesterday, like an unruly child coloring on the walls, mar all your days. What would happen if instead we let our future loose with a roller and paint can? What if we let God create something new?”
I pray that you trust Him to do this in your life as well. I love you very much... and God loves you so much more!

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