“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”
In The Voice translation of this verse it is said like this, “I know I have not arrived.” I wonder how many of you are like me and just want to get there already. We just want to arrive at our destination, but that destination means life on earth is over. We are always going to be a work in progress, never truly arriving until we arrive at Home with the Lord. Many times when God corrects me on something or teaches me a lesson I thought I already learned, I am frustrated and caught off guard by my need to relearn it. I get so frustrated with myself thinking I should have arrived there already.
Recently God has been teaching me some lessons that I thought I already knew. The truth is that I had the knowledge in my head, but I hadn’t learned it in my heart yet. When I stopped to think about this, I had to stop and thank God for working this way in my life. Can you imagine how hard and overwhelming it would be if we learned all the lessons at once? We wouldn’t survive. God, in His grace and mercy, gives us these lessons little by little, knowing exactly what we need and when. In reflecting on my testimony and my spiritual growth, I am overwhelmed by how God tenderly gave me these lessons to learn in my heart a little at a time. In each season, with each step, he gave me the discipline I needed to prepare me for my next steps. With each step, I had what I needed to strain toward what lies ahead.
If you can relate today, I hope that I can encourage you. May you be encouraged in knowing that we are all works in progress. None of us has arrived, but we can forget the past and strain toward what lies ahead, knowing each new lesson is a stepping stone into our future.
Father, thank you for being such a patient and merciful God. I am so thankful that you do not expect me to be perfect, but you are patiently transforming me into your likeness day by day. Father, help me to be patient with myself. And help me to see the lessons you are teaching me today, in this moment. I pray that as I forget the former things, I can use your lessons as stepping stones into all you have for me in the days to come. Thank you, again, for walking with me each step of the way. I love you, Lord. Amen.