Living Forward while Looking Back

October 20, 2023

By: Angela Niederer

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

During a study of 1 Samuel, I noticed a divided theme from the Israelites. They either put God first in everything and trusted in His timing, direction, and outcome or moved forward on their own. And when faced with unwanted circumstances, turned to Him and asked for His blessing~ trying to force His hand to get their way. Unfortunately, the Israelites and I have more in common than I would like to admit. 

Thankfully, our God is a God of restoration. From the very first time we turned our backs on Him in the Garden, He has been providing a way for us to return our hearts to Him. In the book of Hosea, we find the prophet Hosea suffering from the humiliation of his wife Gomer’s unfaithfulness. Hosea lives out his emotional pain with God’s direction and works out the restoration process to redeem his wife. This real-life event for Hosea is the symbolic process of God’s desire to restore our broken covenant. I have found myself unfaithful to God so many times, and yet He is always faithful to me! 

As I reflect on my own journey of getting to know God, I seek to follow Him with my heart rather than struggling to figure out all the details on the journey… but this hasn’t always been the case. I haven’t always wrestled well with God. In some of the worst trials I have experienced, I struggled to see His love and compassion at times. I threw some extensive temper tantrums, yet eventually, I became broken enough to allow God to use these circumstances to draw me closer and grow my faith and trust in Him. 

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life must be lived forward but understood looking back.” In all the trials I have faced, God didn’t “fix” them, take them away, or reverse the circumstances. That isn’t usually where we find the blessings. God walks with us as we reach for Him and allow His strength to get us through our trials. 2 Corinthians 12:9 reminds us that “His power is made perfect in our weakness”. The blessings always lead us to Jesus.

I believe we can wrestle well when we stay connected to the source of our hope and look to Him first. We can trust Him with every outcome. His timing and direction are always with His glory and His love for us in mind. 

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