Sunday, May 25, 2008

To pause and reflect

I spent a considerable portion of the day working on a "looking back" project in my journal. I wrote a total of 7 pages of recollection (in summary) of the chief events as I recall them at this point of my life. It was a profitable exercise: for in doing so, one can see more clearly all that God has done.

It is interesting to reflect thus. Many things make far more sense now in retrospect than they did at the time. Some things make no more sense. And a few things actually make less sense than I thought they did at the time. But I am encouraged in that I know that God's faithfulness is supreme. I don't need to understand all these things; I need only trust in my faithful God, who is Sovereign and in charge of all these things.

I stand in awe of how faithful God has been to provide for me financially, above and beyond my needs to give me things that have been an incredible blessing to me. I stand in awe of how he has protected me relationally, even by holding my heart in a painful position until the one He had for me was near, and we were ready for each other. Incredible!

In addition, God's faithfulness to bring the right people into my life at the right time - from Travis Dunlap to Chris Goree to Jaimie Dawn - has been positively amazing. And before that, with Pat Dorbin in the time before college, and of course my parents and sisters all along the way (though I did not truly begin to appreciate them until the spring of 2007, God forgive me). The way in which the right people have been in the right place at the right time to make an essential difference is astounding. More amazing yet is the fact that all have been so faithful - both to encourage and to correct - as I have required. God's faithfulness is exceedingly good!

This sort of project takes a great deal of time, emotional energy, and hand strength. My hand quite literally aches from the amount of writing I did. And yet, it seems fitting that I should take this time before I finish this journal - it is only 17 pages left to write in out of a few hundred - as I started it when I came to school.

In this time of reflection, I have been reflecting as well on the necessity of reflecting. How are we to understand the way God works in our lives if we do not take the time to stop and understand how He has worked in our lives? And how can we expect to have a healthy perspective on what He is doing if we never pause to recognize what He has already done? We cannot! It is of the utmost importance that we stop to be remembrancers of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Out of such reflection, mediated by prayer and an abiding knowledge of Scripture, is born a deep and comforting understanding of God's character. We may rest assured that He will never leave us or forsake us. He has promised it in Scripture, and He has faithfully demonstrated it in our lives. By pausing to take stock every so often, we learn to recognize His hand in even the "mundane" and day-to-day, and so are comforted when things go ill with us. We have a record of all that He has done when things have seemingly gone amiss before.

And so we must at times stop and reflect on what has come before. We dare not become fixated on the past, just as we must never let the future consume us. We live today. But we look back on all that God has done to give us hope and courage to continue pressing on into the future. Only by understanding the past can we forsake it and be trapped by it no more - and so press on to the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

As a side note, I've made a few changes in the blog look and layout. Do let me know what you think!

God bless you. May His grace and peace sustain you in all things.

- Chris


  1. I like the new look. And in case I haven't mentioned lately, you're a huge encouragement to me. You're the best brother for me. :) :D

  2. I love the new look ... very apropos.

    I love this post, too. I take time, from time-to-time, to look back and read my journals. The pages that oft come to the forfront of my mind are the words written while going through infertility. That was truly one of the most devestating times in my life. I have dreamed of being a mommy all of my life. We went to specialists. We were told we could not have children without a surgery whose odds were not great. I was two weeks pregnant and didn't know it. The pain and faith bleeding through the pages of my journals during those days encourage me often ... God's faithfulness woven through my life. The blessing of growing in age is having many such experiences to draw upon when looking upon the goodness, faithfulness, and sovereignty of God.

    I also love this post because it caused me to look back on some of what I've been privaleged to experience through your writings out here. And I see a different Chris. I see a man, formed and shaped in the image of God by His own hands ... ready and prepared for what God has for you next ... and filled with His confidence to face tomorrow with peace and serenity. Awsome God!

  3. I love the picture in your header!
    I recognize it as one you took of 11 mile reservoir last summer while on your camping trip with FFI.

    It is essential for us to remember all the good and glorious things our God has done for us. I appreciate your perspective regarding understanding or not understanding what the Lord has allowed. Some things we may not gain understanding of until we may ask Him face to face; but because He is sovereign it is good to learn to trust Him regardless.

    -- His timing is perfect!


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