January 13, 2016
Living in a culture where the focus is on the “now” makes it easy to lose sight of the future. The world of advertising says “buy now,” which often gets the desired response. If we wait a little while and consider the bigger picture, we might make a different decision.
Other choices follow a similar pattern. The immediate payoff seems desirable, but when we take a longer view, we might see consequences that keep us from following a path that right now looks attractive. It takes discipline to think about today in light of how this will develop later in our life.
When we are in the middle of a challenging situation, and no answer or direction seems obvious, we can become frustrated and confused. It is at those times that we need to stop and evaluate our options. Have we done all we know how to do up to this day? Are we hiding selfish motives or ambitions that are cluttering the decision process? If so, these can be acknowledged and dealt with.
We can sometimes project a plan and then anticipate how this might play out in the future. “If I make this investment today, what will most likely influence it in positive or negative ways down the road?” “This educational path seems attractive, but does it have a future?” “Do I really want to do this for a career?” “If I continue to follow this spending habit or dietary plan, what will most likely result in 20 years?”
Handling trials can benefit from the same perspective. I may not be able to project where this situation is leading, but if I can do the best I know today and leave the rest to my trustworthy Creator God, I can anticipate that eventually I will see the benefit of what I am enduring now.
A songwriter had this view: “Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear, we’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair. But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away, all tears forever over in God’s eternal day. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.”
We can see some of this today, through a “clouded mirror.” But from Heaven’s view, everything will make sense.
Pastor Bill Ehmann