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September 15, 2019 | Doug Sauder
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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”—Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
I can remember growing up and getting perplexed when the older, wiser individuals would say this phrase: "Had I known back then what I know now . . .” I could never quite put a finger on what they meant and why they’d consistently say that. All my young mind could reconcile was life happening in fast forward, and that alone was an all-consuming reality for me to grapple with.
As I grew older, I suddenly began to understand what they meant by that phrase. Shucks, I even found myself saying it at times. Truth is, different seasons of life present different perspectives as it relates to the circumstances we’ve lived out. Characteristically, when you're actually going through something, you’re never really able to see the “silver lining” in it. Once you finally reach the other side of what it is you’ve walked through, you tend to get a clear or new understanding. It’s usually not until you come out of a situation that you’re able to examine the “play by play” as to what you could’ve done better or how well you did. Think about it! NFL quarterbacks usually head over to the sidelines to reevaluate the previous possession as well as the type of defensive opposition they faced. This helps them prepare for their next opportunity to take the field. It’d be rather difficult for a quarterback to closely examine the defense while their right smack in the line of fire. You tracking with me now?
Take Joseph for example. It took him more than a dozen years to finally understand that the misfortunes he’d suffered starting at age 17 were all meant for his good (Genesis 50:20). I’m sure he had moments of doubt and frustration when he was actually navigating through those challenging years of his life. Yet at age 30, Joseph gained a new understanding regarding the “hand” life dealt him and how it groomed him for the present season.
As you enter into this new year and take a moment to look back at the challenges you’ve been able to overcome, you might possibly rejoice! Rejoice because of the new perspective and new understanding as to what God was doing and is doing on your behalf!
DIG: Read Genesis 37-50 (Joseph’s story) and see if you relate to Joseph.
DISCOVER: As you look back at the season you just came out of, what did God teach you about yourself? More importantly what new understanding do you have regarding God?
DISPLAY: As you step into this next stage of life, demonstrate your faith in God, trusting that He is leading and directing your path, come what may.