Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Proverbs 23:17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.

      Someone said, "Don't look back, you're not going that way."
      I was sitting at an office function dinner and listening to a lot of the business people bemoaning the fact that they had lost out because they did not buy certain properties and investments way back in the day. Some were saying, "If I had bought that property back then I would be on easy street now." Someone else said, "I could have retired by now if I would have bought that lot next to the golf course. I know I should have done it." Shoulda woulda couldas all dinner long. 

      Here we were eating plenty. Living in a free and open society in a law-abiding country with clean air and water, plus so much more, and all that was coming out of people's hearts was what they missed out on. There was no gratefulness for what was. I had to do an inventory of my own heart and wondered if I had the same attitude toward my life. Was I saying things were better back in the day? Was I looking back rather than forward and onward in the plan that God has for me? Eccl. 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
      I realized that I had been saying things like, "I should have taken better care of my heart and maybe this atrial fibrillation would not have happened to me. I could have taken that course four years ago and would not be in the business slump I'm experiencing right now." Yup, I was doing it and I realized it was stopping me from thinking forward with anticipation. I was thinking forward with uncertainty and not sure of what was next and feelings of no real purpose were floating around my conscience. It looked like I had a small touch of the shoulda woulda coulda syndrome. What to do? Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  
      We can get caught up in the moment when things are not going so well and we start thinking that things were better years ago. We falsely think God has lost our number and connection because we are faltering. Before you know it we are talking like the children of Israel in the wilderness and all the shoulda woulda couldas start coming out of us in full drama. Ex. 16:3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death. 
      We catastrophize every little thing we stumble over and we get our eyes off of the prize that God has sown in our hearts. Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
      We all need to take our eyes off of the circumstances and realize that God has brought us this far with His grace and that He will bring us all the way with His grace. Heb. 12:2a Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. This is the key. We keep looking to the author of our faith for the direction our lives are to follow. Isa. 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 
      When we look forward with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our confidence in Christ reemerges from within our souls and trust becomes part of our confident declarations of faith. Phil. 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. We all need to lay down our shoulda woulda coulda feelings and grasp the Saviour in gratitude and be thankful that we are in Christ and part of His incredible eternal plan now and tomorrow. 
      There is no need to look back at our missteps. Christ has us in the palm of His hands as He makes sure we are going forward with Him. Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. May our lives be full of victory as we go forward in Jesus name.

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