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Reflect and Anticipate

In Daily Devotional by Mark Buchanan

Theme of the Week: Assess Your Goals

Bible Verse: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14, ESV

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Remembering and reflecting bear a certain fruit: anticipating. Anticipation completes the journey that begins with memory and sojourns in reflection.

Anticipation is that journey’s destination. Apart from this—apart from a nurtured expectancy about things unseen, a growing certainty about things hoped for— some truths about both God and self will remain obscure.

Who God really is and who you really are: this is understood, not just in light of the past and the present, but in light of the future too. Who will you be? This is as crucial to your full identity as who you have been or have become. The future shapes you as much as the past or the present, maybe more. Destiny, every bit as much as history, determines identity. We lay hold of this future through anticipation.

I sat one day with a young woman who had a desolate past, a blighted landscape of childhood neglect and sexual abuse and, stemming from this, the many broken pieces of her own bad choices. She poured out her story, and I sat speechless. And now I should say what?

I prayed one of my desperate prayers, “Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!” And then God slipped me an insight, timely as manna dropped from the sky.

He showed me that her past was beyond repair, at least on my watch. If there was any good thing there to salvage, I knew not how. But in the same instant God showed me she still had her future. And it was vast, unbroken, pristine, radiant. It was pure promise: a glory that would be revealed in her, a glory that far outweighed her “light and momentary troubles” now, the glory of the One who was coming to redeem her and transform her (2 Cor. 4:17).

Her past was a tragedy to lament. But her future was an epic to anticipate. Which is simply to say: what will happen matters more than what has happened.

Taken from The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. Copyright ©2006 by Mark Buchanan. Used by permission of Zondervan.


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About
Mark Buchanan
Mark Buchanan is a pastor, author, and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Ambrose University in Calgary, AB. His books include Your Church is Too Safe: Why Following Christ Turns the World Upside-Down.
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Mark Buchanan
Mark Buchanan is a pastor, author, and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Ambrose University in Calgary, AB. His books include Your Church is Too Safe: Why Following Christ Turns the World Upside-Down.