Looking Back After Coming So Close... to the End
Isaiah 38:9-17 NIV
At the end of an event, a situation, an illness, a recovery, a defeat, a victory, a day, a week, a month, or a year, we should take the time to look back. I know that there are times that we really just want to forget all about what has just happened in our lives or in the lives of those we love, but I want you to know that sometimes, most times, it is a good thing to look back. I am not suggesting that you move forward with your eyes focused on your past but I do think that you should be informed and even inspired by your past to live your future in a wiser way because of the lessons you have learned from looking back.
I know that we have been discussing HOPE and HEALING for the last month or so on the blog and my most recent posts have come from Isaiah 38 but we are nearing the end of this series... I think. I know that we are at least nearing the end of Isaiah 38. [LOL!] And as we come to the end of this chapter, I have a deeper appreciation for this chapter than I ever have simply because the text records that King Hezekiah did exactly what I am encouraging you to do in your own life. King Hezekiah looked back. At the end of his illness and recovery as recorded in the opening verses of this chapter, we are given the privilege to now read his personal reflections after his near death experience.
Like any one of us who have come to a point in our lives when we felt like we were going to never see tomorrow, King Hezekiah takes the time to reflect on what has just happened in his own life and we should do the same.
A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery: I said, “In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death and be robbed of the rest of my years?” I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself in the land of the living; no longer will I look on my fellow man, or be with those who now dwell in this world. Like a shepherd’s tent my house has been pulled down and taken from me. Like a weaver I have rolled up my life, and he has cut me off from the loom; day and night you made an end of me. I waited patiently till dawn, but like a lion he broke all my bones; day and night you made an end of me. I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!” But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.
WOW! When you come face to face with death and the death sentence has been confirmed by the Prophet of the Lord, as was the case for King Hezekiah, what more can you really say? If the Lord has spoken IT and the Lord has done IT, what can you really say? I do not know; but I do know that like this King, I, too, would have questions about end of life, loss of life, regrets, troubles, triumphs, failures, forgiveness, and everything that really matters that I might have ignored up until this point. King Hezekiah comes to this point of his life and he truly realizes what he could have lost. I think he is in awe of his own life and how close he was to his last breath.
He does not make light of his experience. His eyes were full of tears and he cried until his eyes grew weak of crying. This is not a laughing matter. Actually, he was in pain and agony and he acknowledges this but he is also awakened to his absolute need to totally depend on the Lord, the same one who has allowed this dark moment in his life. I think that his entire life perspective changed when he was facing the end of his own life... the possibility of his life being pulled down and taken away, rolled up and cut off changed him.
And as he now reflects on his life, looking back after coming so close to the end, he declares:
I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul. Lord, by such things people live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.
King Hezekiah had a near death experience and as he looks back over his life because of this encounter, he knows that it was nobody but the Lord who gives him life, restores his health, keeps him from destruction, and does not carry his sins into his future.
My friends, as you look back, what have you learned? How will you live differently because of your past? How has your perspective about your relationship with the Lord shifted as a result? What is your next step?
I pray that you would take a moment to look back over your own life, take note of the lessons learned and move forward into your future knowing that it is nobody but the Lord who has kept you and who will keep you in the days ahead! BlogFam, take a look back because this one look, can change everything about your life!
GOD LOVES YOU AND I DO TOO!!!
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