Forgetting the Past, Straining Forward

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In just a few short hours, it will be a new year. 2015. I can’t say I’ve been waiting all my life for this year. Nor can I say that I’ve even thought much about what this New Year may bring. But there are no backward looks at 2014. I have no desire to stay in this year.

Fully agreeing with Paul, I am choosing to forget what lies behind, and instead, press on for what lies ahead (Phil. 3:13). My heart knows that the future holds a life that is far better than anything I’m leaving in this past year.

In the previous verses, Paul states that his desire is to know—fully experience—Christ and the power of His resurrection and share—take part in—his sufferings, “becoming like him in his death.” He goes on to say that he longs to make this his own, because Jesus has made him His own.

When 2015 comes to a close, I long to be able to say that my heart knows Jesus deeper, that I’ve experienced more of his power, and have become a bit more like Him while going through times of suffering and sorrow.

The desire of my heart is that this year will find me with a more steadfast, enduring hope and trust in Jesus. That I would “press on” and push in to Christ, instead of retreating and distancing myself from Him. I pray that my trust in Jesus would be stronger than the doubts of the devil, that I would hear the voice of Jesus above the storms. That instead of feeling that He has left me, I would be constantly reminded of the fact that “Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Phil. 3:12).

All of life is as fluid as water, as uncertain as the wind…but the great certainty in all of it is that I have a Savior who calls me His own and loves me with a love that takes my breath away.

In the pain of this past year, it was easy to feel that God utterly hated me and loathed my life as much as I did. He was not near—in fact, it seemed as if He had removed Himself entirely from my life. Except to cause just one more loss.

Loss is inescapable, unavoidable. All of life is painted in loss, but that doesn’t mean I should be done with Jesus—just because I can’t see him through the blurry vision of tears and pain. So, this year, I am choosing to go hard after Christ Jesus, even when I can’t see Him, touch Him, or hear Him. He has made me His own—I belong to Him.

Whatever my lot

You have taught me to know

It is well, it is well

With my soul.

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