If you have a tendency to despair over lost opportunities or if you worry about the future, ask yourself this question: “What is right in front of me?” In other words, what circumstances and relationships are currently available to you? This question can get your focus off a past regret or a scary future and back to what God can do in your life.
It’s similar to the question God asked Moses at the burning bush. Moses was troubled. Aware of his own weaknesses, he expressed fear about the Lord’s call for him to lead Israel out of bondage. So God simply asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” (Ex. 4:2). The Lord shifted Moses’ attention away from his anxiety about the future and suggested he notice what was right in front of him—a shepherd’s rod. God showed Moses that He could use this ordinary staff to perform miracles as a sign for unbelieving people. As Moses’ trust in God grew, so did the magnitude of miracles God worked through His servant.
Do you think about past failures too much? Do you have fearful thoughts about the future? Recall God’s question: “What is that in your hand?” What current circumstances and relationships can God use for your benefit and His glory? Entrust them—and your life—to Him.
Onward and upward your course plan today,
Seeking new heights as you walk Jesus’ way;
Heed not past failures, but strive for the prize,
Aiming for goals fit for His holy eyes. —Brandt
You can’t change the past,
but you’ll ruin the present by worrying about the future.
Article by Dennis Fisher, Our Daily Bread, Copyright 2013 by RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from RBC Ministries
On a recent visit to my home, my grandfather who’s 82 began to reminisce. He recalled a time in his life that he was in a position to take part in a top secret operation with the government. As a retired military man and sailor this would easily become the high light of his career.
Once he received the nod, the wheels of bureaucracy began to turn at the pace that they are famous for. Everything was going as planned until he was sent for his physical. It was imperative that he be in great shape. They would be on a ship for months without any external support. Every aspect of his physical body was checked and double checked, even his teeth had to be certified, repaired or removed before the mission date. The physical was so intense that they found my grandfather had a single kidney stone.
This was years before “laser” or “arthroscopic” surgery had come to be. The doctor informed him that he would not be able to get on the ship being as there would be no support or surgeon for his potential problem on the boat. The mission could not be placed in jeopardy due to his potential medical condition. He asked about having it removed and the doctor informed him that they did not like to cut a kidney unless it was absolutely necessary. He was sent home disappointed and discouraged.
He just could not accept the facts. He went back to the doctor with determination. My grandfather told the doctor, you can take the whole kidney out as long as I’m on that ship when she pulls out! The doctor removed the stone and my grandfather was on the ship when she left. The ship was the “Global Explorer” and the mission was “Operation Azorian”. It’s purpose was to recover a sunken Russian sub called “K-123”. Mission accomplished.
When was the last time you felt such passion that you would do whatever it takes to see something through? What last moved you to the point that you became obsessed with it? Was it church? Is it Family? Why not a love for the lost? As Christians we need to have the mind of Christ that Paul spoke about. This mindset will also hold the passion of Christ.
There is an old gospel song called, “The old Gospel Ship.” It speaks volumes to us. It’s chorus states, O, I’m gonna take a trip in the good old Gospel ship, I’m going far beyond the sky; O, I’m gonna shout and sing until the heavens ring, while I’m bidding this world goodbye. Our prayer should be similar to my grandfathers request, you can take the whole world as long as I’m on that ship when she pulls out! With “mind of Christ”, we too someday can say, “Mission accomplished!”