Bible Society of South Africa

Which way are you looking? Sometimes, you have to look back – 27 March 2023

By Charlea Grey

Bible text(s)

28We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28GNBOpen in Bible reader

I like to remember. One of my favourite things is to sometimes look at old photos – in a photo album or somewhere in a file on my computer. I look at the clothes that everyone in the photo was wearing and the different facial expressions. I often look at the background for detail that I may never have noticed. While I look at old photos from my student days, holidays or just a certain chapter in my life, I think back to the circumstances surrounding the photo. I remember how I felt, I sometimes remember a specific emotion or event, or a specific conversation. It is wonderful to sometimes travel back in time and remember, for a moment, how I felt at that time or to remember a different version of myself.

The wonderful thing about looking back is how you can evaluate the path you have walked so far. When I look back like this, I realise that things mostly worked out better than I thought they would. I remember how certain doors did not open for me and how I often wondered: why not? But when I look back, I also understand why not. Sometimes, I still don’t understand why something might not have happened the way I would have liked, but I can see what life lessons I learnt in the process and I can see how those life lessons have already come in handy.

Yes, there are also unexpected things that happen in life, which are never nice to remember. These are things that just don’t make sense to you.

Still, I believe we sometimes have to take time to look back – we sometimes have to think about the things that worked out better than we expected, the things that fell into place when we thought everything was going to fall apart and, sometimes, we also have to think about the hard times and how we got through them. When we look back and we look closely, we will see God’s hand in our lives. We will see that he was there all along, even when we thought he was not.

If you look back now and things don’t make sense to you, you might feel hurt. But, wait, be patient. I believe there will come a time when you can sit and look back, and then you will be able to see how God was with you every step of the way.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for making things work together for good, no matter what challenges I am faced with. Help me to sometimes take a moment, look back and see your hand in my life, so that I can remember that you never leave me. Also, help me to remember that you have a plan for my life, even if the plan doesn’t make sense to me immediately. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.19.1
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