Rear view mirrors

I rarely look in a rear view mirror in our VW van. I never drive it at home or on holiday (Those who know me best know that driving or should I say parking isn’t a strong point!)

But for some reason, somewhere between Nenzing & Kitzbuhl, between tobogganing & Swarovski crystal (while Rob was driving in record breaking temperatures) I looked in the rear view mirror. In it I saw an Alpine mountain range that we’d driven by without realising it. I took the photo (above) but it doesn’t truly capture the grandeur of the scenery!

The rear-view mirror showed views that I would have otherwise missed. It gave a different perspective on the journey.

Oftentimes, we don’t realise how far we have journeyed till we look back. It’s never a good idea to dwell in the past (especially if hurt, regret & other damaging emotions live there) but looking in life’s rear view mirror can be positive & beneficial.

‘The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, & we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, & we only know them when they are gone’
(George Eliot- Scenes of a clerical life)

Moments whizz by. Summer days go too quickly. Holidays are fading into the background behind us.

After happy times, we can look back at memories created & remember where we’ve been! As the saying goes, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over- smile because it’s happened!’

Even in challenging times, reflection brings clarity.

As teenagers await their A level results I was reminded again of that stage in my own life when things didn’t go as {I’d} planned. I ended up in Dundee- the right place for me to be, where I met great friends & my husband!

We can trace God’s grace as we look back:
“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”
(Philip Yancey)

Anniversary celebrations this week cause me to look in life’s rear view mirror back over two decades years of marriage. It’s a while since we’ve listened to ‘I could never promise you‘ by Don Francisco. This vintage Christian song was sung by two of our bridesmaids Sharon & Joanne on our wedding day:
‘I could never promise you on just my strength alone,
That all my life I’d care for you, and love you as my own.
I’ve never known the future, I only see today,
Words that last a lifetime would be more than I could say.
But the love inside my heart today is more than mine alone.
It never changes, it never fails, never seeks it’s own.
And by the God who gives it, and who lives in me and you
I know the words I speak today are words I’m going to do’

When I look in the rear view mirror, of a great marriage, I am reminded that we wouldn’t have got through sickness & trials, & the unexpected twists & turns of life without God. Promises & human love aren’t strong enough,but:
‘A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’
(Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV)

In my Bible reading today, I read how Samuel led the Israelites in victory over the Philistines. He then paused & looked back.
‘Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”’
(1 Samuel 7:12 NIV)

We may not place stones along the wayside. But we can record God’s provision in a journal! We can pause & trace His grace along this journey we call life. We can cultivate a grateful heart.

Even when we don’t like the view in reverse any better than when we were living through it, we can pour out our feelings to God. Even if the rear view mirror smashes in frustration or anger,we can give all the pieces to God.

‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’
(Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)

Whether we are traveling through green pastures, by still waters or through dark valleys, if we gaze in life’s rear view mirror long enough, we will see the goodness & love of our Shepherd-God following us.

‘Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’
(Psalm 23:6 NIV)

‘I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side’
(Chris Tomlin)

Blessings,

Ruthx

Edited from original post at http://www.blessedme.co.uk

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