I saw a picture today about a child that was born deaf. Seeing the world through the lens of that child who could not hear what was going on, who did not know words to communicate, and thus could not interpret things he was seeing. It gave me a whole new attitude of gratitude. Having eight children, I did think more than once, “what if..” kinds of questions. Fortunately, all of my children were healthy, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t have a different set of challenges.
You see, we all have our own challenges. While it may look as if this person, or that, is skating through life with never a care in the world, that is just not true. Life presents challenges, and they are often unique to the individual. Whatever those challenges are, it does not mean we should not be very thankful:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, remembering that as members of the same body you are called to live in harmony, and never forget to be thankful for what God has done for you. Colossians 3:15 (PHILLIPS)
God wants us to be in harmony with Him, with our brothers and sisters, and the circumstances of our lives. However, there are going to be seasons when you won’t feel harmonious with anybody or anything.
As I got older, I found myself rehearsing so many of the things that I did that were mishaps, failures, even just plain sin. I would beat myself over them, often going into remorse. The enemy would taunt me, highlighting those situations, and of course diminishing anything good that I might have done. This is not a new trick. It is age-old, and we have to learn how to put it under our feet.
We have to get to a place where we realize that for the most part, we did the best we could, with what we knew, or at the maturity level we were at. It may have been a complete mess, but if you think about it, you usually learned something from it. Holding on to the past will prevent you from ever moving forward into the future that you can now walk in with greater wisdom. Repentance does not take a long time, either for you to do it, or for God to forgive you. Letting go of your past may take longer, but it is here that we must strive for that harmony – that perfect pitch that comes when all of our systems are operating in their function, like the beautiful instruments in an orchestra.
The one thing that will propel us into that harmony is having a thankful and a grateful heart. Putting our focus on what God has done for us, rather than how we have failed ourselves, can turn the tables on regret.
Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ. Philippians 3:13 (PHILLIPS)