Are you looking back on your life in the wondering stage? All the questions that come to mind are of the past in comparison to what is now. It’s great to reflect on the past, but don’t stay there, you will have just sentenced yourself to a self-induced comparison trap.
The emerging pattern of looking backward hinders your growing future.
As my eyes are opened, life is manifesting into my purpose for this season. I am alone a lot, (I have a very small circle of friends, I have a life-partner and family). I enjoy my alone time as it allows me to truly be honest with myself and the direction that I am headed. While others may not agree with my choice to have my alone time, my life is based on the purpose that God has for me, not what others have for me.
Paul uses the example of Sarah and Hagar to distinguish two covenants, law and grace (Genesis 4:21-31). Hagar, being of the old covenant (law), and Sarah of the new covenant (grace). While the law is truth and prevalent, the flesh sins. Sarah gave her servant Hagar to her husband Abraham to conceive the child that Sarah was unable to do. She had no business offering her servant to her husband, and Abraham had no business sleeping with Hagar. After the fact, Sarah mistreated Hagar, even though she did as she was told by Sarah. Hagar decided she would flee, she went alone into the desert and found her future. The polluted outcast encountered God in the desert, she captured her aloneness. It was in her aloneness that she heard from God to return to Abraham and Sarah. Hagar listened to God and returned. There is much to be said about the Old Testament and the laws that were written. One thing we know, Grace is given as God works for our purpose despite our human efforts.
What does this story have in common with looking back on our life? In the world today, we have succumbed to excluding the importance of the laws, the importance of forgiveness, grace and the importance of listening to Gods voice and following His instructions. In the story of Sarah and Hagar, God worked through these situations, Hagar was blessed, and Abraham and Sarah were still the recipients of the promise. Many today look to others wondering why “they received the blessing”, why, “they received something that you should have.” Maybe we should learn from Hagar who followed Gods instructions, all were blessed and received His promises. God is Sovereign, so regardless of our human frailty, His will is destined to be accomplished.
Just because you’re alone physically doesn’t mean that you are alone spiritually.
Sometimes I find myself in the mindset like Hagar, misunderstood, mistreated. Hagars’ name closely resembles the root of the Arabic, flight. I admit I am not one that conforms, I do go off the path and fly my own plane sometimes, (figuratively speaking of course). Why, because that is what separates me from the complacency, confusion, and chaotic life that others live in. The drama, the struggles, the comparison trap, the fake posts on social media; all of this just to make the “appearance” of your life grand or for others to consider you a victim of your circumstance. No thank you!
Just as the appearances in the rear-view mirror surface to the forefront of our minds, we continue to look at what was and what could be or should be, we forget about the grace that God provided for us during that season. When you’re seeking the answers to the questions in the rear-view, first say to yourself, “God help me to capture my aloneness and look forward to your promises.” Go, just go, find an empty room, take a drive without the cell phone to post pictures of where you are and what you’re doing, go sit in your backyard and feel the nature around you. Separate yourself from the world. It doesn’t take a whole day or hours, it’s a matter of starting right where you are. 15 minutes. Breath. Shut off everything and listen to the sound of your breath. Appreciate your mind, body and soul and the life God blessed YOU with. Capture your aloneness, the pure in heart shall see God.
Being in my aloneness is rewarding and healthy. As I sit right now, a picturesque view of the soothing water fountain flowing through the clear blue waters, I write and embrace my aloneness as I find this intimate time with God delightfully comforting. The future I long for is that of stillness, calm and comfort, the peace knowing that I will not allow the actions of my past or the present reactions of others to dominate my world, leaving me to be a prisoner of my life.
Through Jesus’ we are covered in Grace. By His word, I find the promises in my path.
When do you face the truth? When do you capture your aloneness?
His blessings are there for you to open your heart to receive, embrace your aloneness and seek the One who loves you, follow His truth.
Covered by His Garment of Grace,
Photo credit: Paul Harding