Looking Back by JW Kaiser
As surfers, we propel ourselves forward in the most simple way. We lay on our boards, dig in with as much shoulder and back strength we can muster and build enough momentum to paddle out or into a wave. A friend of mine grew up on the north east coast and was a part of the Beach Patrol. He has shared stories of using the rescue boats they had to row with big oars facing backwards in the boat. He said paddling out through the surf was exhilarating, but trying to catch waves to ride back in was completely wild. He described pointing the bow of the boat toward the shore while facing backwards, watching the oncoming waves and then rowing this heavy boat into the pit of the wave and hanging on for dear life. The glaring difference between catching waves on a surfboard versus a row boat is that instead of facing forward to paddle, you have to look behind you and judge your forward movement by where you’ve been, not by where you want to go.
That concept is how the Hebrew culture taught the Israelites to understand time. In other words, they understood the need to look behind them in order to move ahead. Where God blessed them in the past would set their trajectory for the future. Their faith was based on what was behind them in their journey rather than a blind hope of what lied ahead.
As we look back at 2017 in the ministry of CS I would ask you to join us in seeing what God has done “behind” us and pray that it would guide us to what is ahead for the new year and the future of our mission together. I’d encourage you to reflect on your own lives. Has God continued to show his faithfulness and love to you? Then I can promise you that God will not leave you out of his great plans in the new year. Hang on and paddle. It’s going to be a good and wild ride… to the Glory of God.
“You know in all your hearts and in all you souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.”
“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring to pass.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24