18 Feb 2016 Looking ahead
by Laurie Green
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a very sentimental person. I have saved pretty much every homemade item my children or grandchildren have ever made me. Macaroni jewelry, birthday coupons for hugs, modeling clay creations — the list goes on and on.
The thing is, being sentimental, I’m able to look at each and every one of these things and remember that exact moment. It takes my heart back to a beautiful, nostalgic memory that plays out like an old movie in my mind. Memories are a wonderful thing, but I often have to remind myself I can’t keep looking backward or I will miss what is right in front of me.
My pastor, Rick Bezet, jokes about how his wife, Michelle, never uses her rear view mirror when she is driving. The reasoning is she’s looking ahead, not backward, so her windshield view ahead is more important than the rearview mirror look behind. I always love this reminder because it relates so well on our walk with God. He has so many wonderful things laid out ahead for us, but we can miss them if we just keep looking back all the time.
It tickles me to see how far I have come and how much I have grown with Jesus. I remember how scared I used to be of praying out loud. I thought you had to say or do something “special” when in reality it’s just simply you talking to God. My husband was once asked if he would bless the lunch he was attending with a friend. At the time he was so nervous to pray out loud, he simply replied, “No, it’s OK, you go ahead.” Little did we know at the time, his lunch partner had the exact same fear of praying out loud.
The first time I ever started to read the Bible, I made it as far as to the Old Testament food laws. Let me tell you, my seafood, bacon-loving family was distraught when I forbid them to eat these things anymore. It seriously took a talk with our preacher to allow that food back on the table, and to this day I have a son who will only eat turkey bacon thanks to me.
I have countless funny stories about my walk toward Jesus, and if I didn’t allow myself to move ahead and grow, that’s all I would have had — funny stories. However, by trusting God with what He had planned ahead for me, I have moved into a place where I feel much more confident in my walk with Jesus. I’m not afraid to pray in public or even out loud, and as for my husband, God has grown him into such a leader and man who doesn’t even flinch when asked to pray anywhere!
Yet, we know God still wants us to press on. While where we are now is much better than where we were before, God still has more ahead. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
You could be at a place where you feel like you’re new and scared in your walk with God or you could feel like you passed your peak and all the best times with God are behind you, but it’s simply not true. Jeremiah 29:11 says it best, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God has a future and a hope to give you right now. Set your eyes on Him, look straight ahead and let the author of your life guide you.