Looking Back To Move Forward

I know you’ve had those moments.

The moments where you’re questions ring louder than answers and the answers you seek seem out of reach. Moments where you’ve become stuck in your journey with God, your journey in life.

So many questions. So few answers.

I’ve been there also. It’s often in those moments where we can ask those questions to God and feel like there is no reply. At least none that we can notice, see or hang on to amidst the turmoil of “I don’t know’s” that flood our heart. The sense of moving forward in confidence is fleeting and life has become stalled out – like when your car runs out of gas and drifts to the side of the road. And you realize the road – where you want to go – stretches out before you and you’re left wondering if you’ll ever get over that horizon.

Today, reading Psalm 77 – I think the psalmist might be giving a clue to how to refuel. A “how to” wrestle with those questions and not let them sink you, but rather to let them redirect your focus.

Sometimes you’ve got to look back before you can move forward.

Psalm 77 – poses these incredible questions (I’ve bet you’ve asked):

I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.

“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion? ”

Some haunting questions. Maybe questions we wrestle with as our souls are withering within.

But, it’s the next verses that seem to point us somewhere. Instead of allowing our focus to become consumed on daunting questions that swirl around us – he directs us to concentrate on ALL God has done to convey His love, presence and comfort in the past.

A call to check the rear-view mirror at times and not just glance out the windshield of life.

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

Selah – means to pause, to reflect.

Maybe that is the invitation for you and I today: Look Back. Remember. Be reminded.

The God who has been active within your past. He still directs your future. He’s still aware in your present. His shadow still covers you now.

Take a deep breath.

The questions can still exist, but they don’t have to emotionally overwhelm when we know He is closer than we may feel.

Sometimes you’ve got to look back before you can move forward.

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