Friday, February 29, 2008

To Live Forward, Understand Backward

The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it. - 1 Thessalonians 5:24

This from Os Hillman's TGIF - Today God Is First:

When I was in my 20's, I participated in a wilderness training course in a desert and mountain area. For our "final exam," we were blindfolded, placed in the back of a pickup truck, and taken to a remote area. We were dropped off and told to meet back at the camp in three days. We did not know where we were. We had to determine our location with our compasses. It was a frightening experience for four young people who had learned to navigate through the use of a compass only a few days earlier. With our food and water on our backs, we began our trek. It had just snowed that morning, so the way was difficult. We walked through valleys, canyons, snow-covered hills, and forests. In all, we walked more than 60 miles in three days. There were times when we did not think we could go another foot. Exhaustion and frostbitten feet were taking their toll. However, we finally made it to our base camp successfully, and to our surprise, we were the first ones among the other patrols to make it back.

At the conclusion of our journey, we were able to stand on top of a ridge, look behind us and see the beautiful terrain that we had just scaled. The pain of what we had just endured seemed to subside. We could not believe we had actually walked through those valleys and snowcapped hills. There was a sense of accomplishment.

Life is very much like this. It is often lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road a bit that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale and the spiritual deposits He has made in our life as a result. When you begin to realize some of this, you sit back and breathe a sigh of relief because you know that God was in control all along. It didn't seem like it at the time, but He was.

Are you in the midst of a difficult journey that seems almost impossible to continue? Be assured that God is providing grace even now to equip you for that journey. There will be a time when you can say, "Wow, look at what God has done because of what I gained through that valley." Trust Him with the outcome of where you find yourself today.

In TGIF: Today God Is First, Os Hillman provides a scripture and commentary for each day of the year. The 365 meditations on the principles of Christ in the workplace wonderfully focus the readers attention on how God's way is to employ ordinary men and women leading ordinary lives to achieve extraordinary things and personally experience how even adverse situations can be doors to spiritual opportunity. Highly recommended reading, Hillman's commentaries are not just simple homilies, they are enduring messages of principles and testimony of how God has worked experientially in his own life -- and can work in yours. - Midwest Book Review

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