Balance…We Desperately Need It!
Philippians 3: 13….Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
When I was a child, you were often just expected to, “Get over it.” Sometimes I feel like in this generation we are almost given permission to, “Stay under it.” Still…to heal means leaning hard into God and doing the work. Somewhere in between burying our feelings and giving in to them is a balance.
Every one of us has a past (or present) that holds some very significant pain. If you don’t, at some point you will. None of us escapes .
Here, Paul tells us to forget what is behind in a way that allows us to press on toward what God has for us to remember, enjoy and attain. Shall we forget what is behind even if remembering enhances what we are presently trying to accomplish? Of course not.
We all know that the wrong kind of pride comes from remembering our past victories and basking in them to the point of feeling superior. Yet…if I remember my past victories in a way that strengthens my faith and my resolve to keep on, or in a way that can help others become victorious, that is a good thing.
If I remember who I was before I met Christ in a way that reminds me of how much He has changed me, that builds my faith. If I remember who I was in a way that heaps guilt or pain on me, that tears down my faith.
If I remember the past (my pain) in a way that causes me to question “Why?” in an unhealthy way, a way that causes me to feel that nothing makes sense and that nothing is resolved, I defeat myself. I weaken my own faith when I dwell there.
I recently heard Chip Ingram http://livingontheedge.org/about-us/chip-ingram say that we must move past the “Why?” to the “What?”
We do need to ask questions of God and other spiritually strong people in our lives. We do need to take the time to work through and heal. But at some point, we must be willing to lay down the unanswerable questions and ask God how He wants to use this unspeakable pain in our lives. We must ask Him to help us move beyond the “Why?” to the “What?”. Eventually we have the privilege (and responsibility) of asking; “How does He want me to respond? How will He use this in my life so that I can live out my God-given purpose in the amazing way He has planned from the beginning?”
Balance…oh how we need it. How thankful I am that if I am willing and ask for it…I can be certain that God can bring me into it! He is faithful. He is loving. He wants us not only to survive, but to thrive!