This morning on my way to work I was challenged by Israel & New Breed’s album “Jesus At The Center.” Four minutes into the song “Overflow”, this is spoken:

“In this moment right here we are going to create a space that before we talk about where we’re going, we’re going to take a moment and look back over our shoulders and see how far God has brought us. To see that we would not be here…had God not preserved us, protected us, put his hand on us, put angels all around us. And so… may every tongue be loosened from the prison of complaining, and find liberty and praise…”

There have been many times in my life where I’m looking for the next step, planning out my long-term goals, or dreaming about what the future might hold. Our culture teaches us to do this. It says, “be goal driven,” and asks us questions like: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? At retirement?” I don’t think these questions are bad things. I don’t think planning out goals is a bad thing.

But when was the last time that I carved out space in my life to look back over my shoulder and see how far God has brought me? When was the last time that I read back through a journal to see the journey I’ve been on this year – or for the past 5 years? When is the last time that I praised God for his protection and guidance instead of asking for protection and guidance? When was the last time I thanked him for directing my steps?

Over the past 10 years, I can see the hand of God guiding my life. There were things that I wanted to do – that I tried to do – that didn’t work out. I tried to go to one college, but God sent me Appalachian State University. I tried to change my major – which I did 3 or 4 times – and yet God brought me back to business management.

There were miraculous circumstances beyond my control. The clutch went out on my car. It cost over $900 to repair, and we didn’t really have the money without dipping into our emergency fund. The day after I paid for the clutch, someone made an anonymous deposit into our bank account of $1000.

There were opportunities that I couldn’t have dreamed of, and yet God needed me to be in a certain place at a certain time for them to happen. It was just over a year ago, that a major publisher picked up on my blog and asked me to write a book. FYI – to be a published author is one of my bigger dreams.

There are SO many more examples. But to recognize them, to be thankful for them – I need to carve out space to look over my shoulder and praise God for where he has brought me. And when I do. When I look back over my life and see his hand, one Proverb becomes profoundly and powerfully true.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (16:9)

Where has the Lord brought you? When you look back over your life, what obvious examples of God’s hand can your recognize? Comment below to continue the discussion…

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