“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 3:13b, 14
Attending a conference this week, I heard a speaker refer to moments that have been passed by, but not lived! What a stirring that has done in my spirit since his reference on Wednesday! Are you like me, with a life full of moments that come and go so quickly, yet you haven’t grasped them, and held on to them? The second I just lived, I will never live again. One second closer to eternity, to seeing God face to face. Do you ever wonder about the people who have treated Him with hatred, and suddenly are standing before Him?
Oh, if only we could recycle those unused, or thoughtless moments! A friend of ours, whose job involved building and handling guns and ammunition, got careless for a fraction of a second–just long enough for the weapon to misfire and render his right hand useless for the rest of his life. Just the twinkling of an eye, and doing something he had done hundreds of times, but that fraction of a second changed his life. Do you have those?
How many of the moments that we have lived could we have used to lead someone to the Savior? Once upon a time, there was a girl in my church who wanted to commit suicide. I prayed for her, but then told the Lord, “I can’t go to her house, but if You want me to speak to her, You will have to bring her to me.” I felt safe saying that, as we did not run in the same circles, so to speak. Later that very night I went into our local food store. As I rounded the check-out lanes, in front of me, not 30 feet, she was walking toward me. A divine appointment. Did I grasp the moment? I had to–I had asked God for that very thing.
Oh, that we could go back and re-live the bad choices! Have those moments back when we’ve really blown everything! Perhaps changed our lives and the lives of those we love by deciding to “do it my way,” as the old song said. But that’s not God’s plan for us. It is much bigger, and encompasses Grace, grace, marvelous grace. If we could re-live and fix mistakes, we wouldn’t need the grace; if we could do it right the first time, we wouldn’t need mercy and forgiveness. We wouldn’t need to “forget those things that are behind,” those things that Satan uses to browbeat us, trying to make us useless for God. But bless His Holy name, we can look forward to the things that are ahead, knowing that we can take the useless, unused, or messed up moments to Him, and He alone can recycle them–and we can press on toward the prize of being with Him in glory one day. Praise Him for His promise to return for us!