"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
We had come into a situation where the church just suffered a severe church split, and where some students still felt the hurt of losing a youth pastor. They needed to forget what lay in the past, and press on towards godliness in Christ, looking heavenward to where all things would be made right.
After we had been hurt in Woodland, this passage came to mind again. I needed to forget what was behind, let go of the bitterness or anger that was sinful within my heart, and move on to what God would have for us to do- and do it with diligence!
Well, this verse comes to mind again. I have had the privilege of seeing some updates from our former church, and am seeing that our friends that we have left behind are being such precious stewards of the young lives we had to walk away from. The leadership of the church appears to be doing an excellent job of supporting that ministry, and seeing all that was a blessing for me.
If I'm being honest though, it was bittersweet too, for we never had that benefit. I couldn't help but think, "What could have been?"
I said this to my mom on the phone the other day, and she told me very simply that what happened happened; and now we have to move on looking to the future. I responded, "Mom, that's hard to do when I don't know what's ahead."
And it's true. What happened to us in the past still hurts in many ways, and I believe that as time goes on, it will heal. God has already laid out a plan of what will happen and how He will provide. I am His. I am called according to His purpose, and He will accomplish all that He has for me and my family.
He will not let my husband be crushed under the hurtful treatment he experienced in Colorado, nor will He let us stay the same. He is refining us. God has put on our hearts the call to minister to His people, and He will use us as we are faithful to the opportunities that He gives.
Oh, that I be faithful to not despair! May I be confident in His provision, and hope in the future that is in His hands- whatever that may hold.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
(bold, added for emphasis)