“Looking to the Future, Remembering the Past” by Norma C. Mezoe
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him…. –Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
Early this morning I was examining an African violet which has been struggling to grow for many months. Suddenly it slipped from my hands and dirt flew in all directions. The violet was violently uprooted from its home. As I cleaned dirt from counter tops, the sink, and stove, I sensed God was teaching me a valuable lesson.
It seemed that perhaps God was telling me this is how my life had been. Even though I had been a Christian for many years, my growth was stunted. Then I experienced a crisis in my life. As with the little plant, my roots were torn from their safe surroundings. My world was changed overnight and my life was broken into many pieces.
Then, just as I had cleaned all the bits of dirt from my kitchen and placed them back into the flower pot, so God had tenderly taken all the scattered pieces of my life and had begun remolding them. He placed each piece lovingly and perfectly into its proper place and molded me tenderly into a fresh and new vessel. Since then my life has begun to grow and bloom as never before.
Perhaps we need occasionally to have our roots shaken and branches pruned so God can perform the miracle of spiritual growth in our lives.
The devotion above was published thirty years ago. The crisis I wrote about had occurred three years earlier. My husband of twenty-seven years had left me for another woman.
The months and years which followed have been times of spiritual growing, intermingled with dealing with other crises, including financial needs and health concerns.
When my faith has weakened and anxieties threatened to tear at my peace and shred my joy, I have remembered my past.
It is not wise to live in the past and dwell on what might have been. However, it is helpful to look to our pasts and remember the way our Lord walked with us through the heartaches, cares, and concerns life had thrown upon us.
It is encouraging to recall how my needs were met, sometimes in unexpected ways. God didn’t always take away my problems, but he walked with me through them.
As I live my life, I have confidence that as God guided my past, he will also walk with me today and will be there as I step into the future. Like the violet, my roots have been shaken, but now they are firmly rooted in the soil of God’s love.
Norma C. Mezoe began writing after a crisis in her life. She has been a published writer for thirty years. Her writing has appeared in books, devotionals, take-home papers and magazines. She lives in the tiny town of Sandborn, Indiana where she is active in her church as clerk, teacher and bulletin maker. Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org