Looking Back

The other day, I googled quotes on looking back. Boy, what a mistake. First, the volume of opinion about whether or not looking back in your life is a great, or terrible, idea is substantial. 50% of all the quotes I read centered around the idea that looking backward in life is unnecessary, unproductive, and the fastest way to relive regret, failures, and reopen old wounds. The other 50% fervently espoused that looking back is the only way to learn and celebrate how far you’ve come.  

I happen to think there is great value in looking back in life if you do it with one objective in mind… to remember the places God met you. It’s a practice that goes all the way back to Samuel in the Old Testament. Samuel erected what he named an Ebenezera special pile of stones – to mark and remember the thunder that the Lord created to bring victory in an important battle for him. After that, when Samuel, and others,  passed by those stones, they would be reminded of that victory. They would simultaneously be reminded that God’s faithfulness and promises are true.  

When walking through the season as we’ve been in, it can be very easy to get disheartened about everything that isn’t possible, things not accomplished, or that our life hasn’t been lived according to what we wrote in our original plan. Easy as that may be, I think it’s important to pause for an “Ebenezer moment” to look back over the past months and to commemorate the small ways in which God has moved you forward, met you in tough times, answered prayers, and developed you to be a little more like Him.  

It is when you’ve got a clear view of how He’s guided you up to today that you can fully trust and appreciate what He’s birthing in you for tomorrow. As you go after that plan, your Ebenezer, the remembrances of how He’s been faithful in your past, will give you the fuel you need to keep moving forward during the hard days.  

In what ways has God proven himself to you over this last year – big or small? I’d love to know.

1 Samuel 7:12 – “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.’”

Matt Stockman

Brand Director

STAR 99.1

STAR 99.1

10 Comments

  1. Christine Dahlgren on February 2, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Matt. There is an old song called Remind Me that speaks directly to why we as Christians need to look back. “Show me where you brought me from and where I could have been” says it all. If you would like to hear the song, here’s a link.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NCNVbsbUaYs

    • Matt Stockman on February 3, 2022 at 10:09 am

      Christine – thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing the link!

      Matt

  2. Kat on February 3, 2022 at 9:56 am

    Loved this! Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Matt Stockman on February 3, 2022 at 10:10 am

    I’m so glad, Kat – thanks for reading it!

  4. Rose on February 3, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you Matt – took me back when my desperate prayers to save my Daughter reached God throne. Praise God, prayer answered .

  5. Lorelei Pepe on February 3, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    I think the pandemic has caused me to have more patience and faith than I would normally have in “normal” days. I know I have become frustrated ,annoyed and desperate on some days. I look back and see this past year I spent a lot of time talking with the cable people about problems, trying to get insurance claims settled with ” endless “hours of waiting on the phone and also a pinched nerve in back, a burnt out a/c unit in the summer, a tree falling on my car, and a stove fire. It made me think back to every serious problem I had in my life and no matter how much I “kicked and screamed” about it, in the end God made it all right and for that I am incredibly thankful. I get so much peace when I read my bible and pray and talk to God. Listening to soothing Christian music on Star99.1 has also helped me through the rough spots too. Just when I was “falling down again” I would hear a phrase or song and that would sustain me. I believe if I am a faithful obedient servant and focus on GOd, rather than my problems , he will never let me down.

    • Matt Stockman on February 4, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      Lorelei –
      Thanks so much for sharing. You’re not alone in feeling that the pandemic has taught us a lot about patience and faith… that’s me too!
      Also, I’m glad Star 99.1 gets to be a part of the way God helps you through the rough spots.
      God bless!
      Matt

  6. Matt Stockman on February 4, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    Hey Rose! Thank you for sharing, and praise God for the answered prayer for your daughter!

  7. Susan A. M. on February 4, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    The pandemic sort of took the future, I isolated myself, rarely went anywhere and stopped thinking about any future. I know holding onto the past is not a good thing for me. Moving forward, planning a future, even with the pandemic, is where my focus needs to be.
    I would be so lost without Star99.1, especially since the pandemic. The song I need to hear always seems to come on at the time I need to hear it. In the evenings, the same thing, whether or not it is Focus on the Family at 11pm or 5am, Star is on 24/7 in the bedroom radio, or the guest room radio.
    I just know God will speak to me through someone at the station or a song or something the DJ will be talking about. I know when I listen to the Bible I can and will find the answer. God gives me the answer.
    I would have lost my sanity, a long time ago if it were not for listening to the stories and songs, and it helps me be a better person.. I am grateful for what I do have. Looking back gives me the strength and knowledge to go forward and do better, be more grateful. I know that I trust in the Lord, and my faith becomes stronger everyday.

  8. Matt Stockman on February 6, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Susan – Thank you so much for sharing so openly. That takes a lot of courage. And, you’re right – looking back with the proper perspective does give us the strength we need to move forward!

    Blessings,
    Matt

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