This evening I head off to Uganda. At this time I would normally be looking forward, seeking God for a word regarding the next season. This time God is doing things differently. This time He has me looking backwards.
The past few days God has been reminding me of all that He has done in my life. I’ve been reflecting on how He brought me to Africa for the first time in 2008 (I used the word “never” – I never wanted to go to South Africa, because of the horror stories I’d heard from ex-pat’s – and as we know, that is a dangerous word to use with God!). In the past 5 years He has changed my life around. He has changed what I value and what I strive for. He has redefined who I am and given me a purpose in life; to follow Him.
I have seen His provision every day of my 25 years. I have known His healing after trauma or heartbreak. I’ve felt His presence during the lonely times. I have known His touch when I need a hug and His strength when even my reserves were dry. I have known His love in every season.
God has taught me to worship with tears, singing, dance, walking, fellowship, and much more. He has taught me of His character and this in turn brings me courage. I have learnt that God is good; God is God (and there is no other); and He is love.
God has given me joy; proved time and time again that He is faithful to His promises; and has held me safely in the palm of His hand.
It is by looking back over these things, and many more, which enables me to step out boldly into the next season.
We are often advised not to look back, but to keep our gaze forward. Sometimes this is good advice, when working towards a goal. But it also pays to look back occasionally, because in doing so we see the work of God clearly displayed in our lives.
Let us worship Him for He is a living God, active in the lives of men!
Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you, that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah.
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! (Psalm 66:8-20)