Forgetting and Reaching Forth
“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
The Lord encouraged me with this scripture when I was battling discouragement over the division in our extended family. While there are ones that are walking with the Lord, there are also family members that out-right profess atheism. My brothers aren’t particularly open to Christianity and many think we’ve gone off the deep end in fanaticism. Aunt Krista’s oldest brother’s marriage just crashed and he is now remarried to someone whom you could easily say has strange “spiritual” ideas. And then there is dear Grandpa, who is horrified that we have no plans to go to college and pursue high-class careers….
“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth… I press toward the mark.” One meaning of forget is “to leave behind.” To leave something is “to give over to another to control or act on.” Who better could we trust to take our burdens and cares than the Lord? Who loves us more than the God who sacrificed His own Son to die for us, that we might live? If you’re like me, you often grapple with letting go of your burdens, and tend to take things into your own hands and run on in your own strength. Oh, how far this is from the vision God wants to give us! Yet only by His strength, can we learn to forget those things and reach forth. May I share with you some of the very situations, which the Lord has called me to forget and reach forth for His promises?
Disturbing family troubles. We recently heard of a close family member whose getting into some trouble. Someone so close, so dear to me…. Why? Why does this all have to happen?
“Trust me; leave your burdens with me, my child. Don’t I always work for my ultimate glory?”
Leaving those things which are behind, I press toward the mark.
Friends of ours are going to see other close friends of ours. “It’s not fair, Lord!” I utter in broken accents, and His rebuke comes back softly, but clearly, “I know what is best for you. My thoughts and ways are way above your thoughts and ways. ‘All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Romans 8:28) ”
All of our family heirlooms are at stake… Nana’s tea sets and china, the old furniture, the grandfather clock… “Lord!”
Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth, I press toward the mark. “Forget them. After all, won’t they all perish in the end? You can bring nothing with you to Heaven, and none of these things will even compare to the crown and riches I will give to you in Heaven.”
“Help me Lord, I am so frail.”
Close friends no longer wish to be friends because of disagreement. They wanted nothing else to do with us because we didn’t “agree to disagree.” We love them dearly and are sorry we can’t have unity of the Spirit. Leaving those things which are behind. “Cast them on Me and press on. Rejoice when you can suffer for My sake,” the Lord whispers.
“Will there be someone for me, Lord?!” I find myself easily doubting about getting married, as there are no possible options around. Yet doesn’t God know? Doesn’t He care? Then the rebuke gently comes, “Give your doubts and desires over to Me, My child. ‘Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’ (Proverbs 3:5) ” Leaving those things in the Savior’s hands, and pressing on….
God is so worthy of our trust, and wants our trust! He cares for us so much and so desires His little children to trust in Him and leave all their cares to His confidence. He yearns for us to leave and devote ourselves utterly to Him. It’s not easy to give up and die to self. Itis not easy to forget these things. It is easy to take on our problems and run on in our own strength, but if we do, we will only fail miserably! What precious blessings come to all whose have left all with Jesus; who trusts implicitly in His divine Will!