Life in the Rear View Mirror

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“He led them forth by the right way.” Psalm 107:7

This declaration by the Psalmist was a testimony of God’s love and power to create a new direction in the lives of His people and lets us better understand how God creates a “new normal” for His people when they experience life-changing events. Our lives are not just affected by the work of God in our lives but how God has worked in the lives of other people.

The reflections of this Psalmist on how God’s intervention in the lives of the “fathers” had placed him in the land he lived. Recalling the history of Israel, the writer said:

“They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.” (Psa 107:4)

Giving a short account of their 40 years, they made their way out of the wilderness of disobedience he said, “ Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.” (Psa 107:5)

The exodus of the children of Israel was a journey that was filled with difficulties, sinful failures and suffering. God was faithful to these people even though they had been unfaithful to Him. When the people of God recognized they were powerless to understand or change their future, the scripture states:

“Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.” (Psa 107:6)

Life-changing experiences bring with them a desire to question, understand or place responsibility or culpability on why we are facing troubled or difficult times. The only way we find peace with the changes that are taking place in our lives is when we cry out to the Lord for deliverance from the effects we are suffering in our lives.

People who have and who are trying to cope with the changes that are creating a new normal in their lives most often do not turn to God for relief or comfort at first. Many who are struggling with the life-changing event lack understanding as to  “why did this happen” or try to place blame on themselves or others as the new normal is being created in their lives.

When we seek to know the “whys” of life, we will fall into a pattern of predictable behavior that will delay or even prohibit spiritual and psychological healing. Many have been separated from the love of family and friends while in pursuit  of answers to the “whys of life.”

Job, questioning God about the “whys” of life, had this response when he recognized the power of God to determine the outcome of life’s difficulties and tragedy’s:

“Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:4-5)

How we respond to the life-changing experience will determine how the new normal is created in our lives. Many souls who have suffered spend years in anger at God or other people because they have assigned blame to either people or God for the unwanted changes in their lives.

Many will wander for years in the wilderness of suffering, not finding peace with God and others because they have not found peace with God for the new life that has been created from the tragedy of difficulty that has befallen them.

Yet others will demand of God an answer as to why this event that has changed their lives has taken place. It is not easy to understand. Sometimes we have to see life through the rearview mirror of life before we can begin to understand the whys of life.

How should we respond when we are struggling with life-changing situations? More specifically how are you responding? Are you blaming God? Are you blaming yourself or others? Are you demanding an answer from God?

If you find yourself in one of the aforementioned groups, you will be lost in the “wilderness” of the change in your life and never arrive at the promised new normal that God has waiting for you. The Psalmist said:

“Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.” (Psa 107:6)

It is when we trust God’s sovereign authority in and over our lives that we can find peace and joy return in our lives. Then and only then are the people of God able to find the promised “new normal” that God has for them. This verse should give all who are experiencing life-changing situations hope:

“And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” (Psa 107:7)

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