Fourth grade math has been a struggle for my daughter this year. One day recently she got “stuck” on a problem and burst into tears. She picked up her math book and flipped through the many pages of lessons still to be completed for the rest of the year.
Look at how much I still have to do this year! I’ll never get through this silly book. I just can’t keep going!
I uttered a desperate prayer asking God to help me encourage her in that moment. How could I get her “unstuck” out of her moment of frustration? How could I keep her focused? What could I possibly say to encourage her?
She kept flipping through those pages mindlessly. The last third of the book was still left to be done. And then it hit me!
I picked up her math book and instead of pointing out the pages she still had left to do, I pointed out the pages she’d already completed….the first two thirds of the book!
Look here….you’ve already finished these pages! There are more pages you’ve completed than pages you still have left to go. You’re going to get through this because LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME!
Her frown turned into a half smile. Then she heaved a sigh of relief. She picked up her pencil and kept going.
God has a way of speaking to me through my daughter’s struggles. As I watched her continue her math problem, He spoke loud and clear to my heart, reminding me that we can get overwhelmed when we focus too much on what lies ahead of us. We often lose sight of how far He’s brought us in certain areas because we’re so consumed with what’s up ahead. We fear the future. We stress over the uncertainty….the unknown.
While we are saying, What if? What if?
He is saying But look! But look!
Look how far you’ve come. Look how I’ve carried you. If I carried you this far, I’ll keep carrying you every step of the way.
Sometimes we just need to stop and take a look back. Not looking at past sins that are forgiven. Not looking at the past in ways that cause us pain or regret. But simply looking back at how much we’ve grown in our faith. Take a look back and remember from where you’ve come. Areas of your life have changed drastically. You don’t react the way you used to. Sins you were once tangled up in are now memories of the past. Yes, you still have a way to go, but look how far you’ve come.
God is faithful and He will continue what He started in us. If He came through for you in the past, then He will carry you through today. He will carry you through tomorrow. And next month. And next year.
So where are you “stuck” at this season of life? Stressful job? Difficulty in your marriage? Tension with your kids? Uncertainty with your finances? Do you feel like you just can’t make it through this time? Feel like throwing up your hands in disgust? Doubting that there is no way you can get through this current struggle?
Whatever it may be dear friend, I encourage you to stop and reflect. Take a deep breath and be still. Ask God to direct your thoughts back to where He’s provided. Back to where He’s healed. Back to where He’s strengthened you. Back to places you thought you’d never come through. Yes, you are going to make it! Yes, you are going to get through whatever it may be. Yes, because LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME!
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”