To be brief, January sucked.
There were these perfect moments, you know? These moments when all it took to feel alive was driving through the mountains with my windows down, feeling the crisp north Georgia air on my cheeks.
And then there were the other moments. Like being so incredibly ill I didn’t move from my bed for almost two weeks. Or saying goodbye to my boyfriend as he left for five months on the mission field. Or the day my tire blew out and I realized there would be no money to fix it.
January was painful.
There were always better things ahead of me than what I’d leave behind; I knew that. I mean, I knew it in my head. My heart wasn’t really feeling it.
I spent a lot of time trying to get my head screwed on straight. I felt like I was walking in a fog, just kind of making my way through the ether.
But things changed.
I realized that if I wanted to move forward, I had to stop looking behind me. I’d spent the majority of my time waiting for the pain I saw in the “rearview mirror” of my life to catch up to the things I saw coming in my future.
That’s no way to live. That’s not life abundant.
Maybe you understand what I mean. Maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck, just hoping the rent money will come through in time. Or maybe you’ve got a sick kid, one who’s been sick for a really long time and it doesn’t really seem like she’ll get better.
You can [insert your own painful circumstance here].
It’s a dangerous thing to keep our eyes focused on the things in the rearview. Here’s why:
1. We forget God’s omnipotence.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being that He should change His mind. Does He not speak and then act? Does He not promise and then fulfill?”
God knows our circumstances. He sees the things going on around us. He knew every detail of every thing that happened. He was–and still is–there. It’s easy to focus in on how hard things were, instead of asking Him to show us where He was in this difficult time.
2. We forget God’s closeness.
Bethel Music put out a song a while ago called “Draw Near.” Part of the lyrics go “Draw near to me, for I have drawn near to you. / Pull on the strings of my heart for I long to respond to you.”
In those times when we feel most alone, God wants us to still come to Him. He’s right there, ready to make His presence known to us if we’ll invite Him in. And even when we ignore Him, He promises not to leave us or forsake us (Jer. 29:11). We are not alone.
3. We forget God’s goodness.
Scripture says that God works everything for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Despite the desperately hard circumstances and situations we find ourselves in, we can choose to believe that He is faithful to fulfill His promises.
How do you respond to a “January” kind of season? Leave your thoughts in the comments.