The more we understand the past, the more we understand the present.  I’ve pondered this over the last several days since attending the funeral of my wife’s grandfather, Loren Swedburg.  He was 97 years old when he received his heavenly reward.  The pastor who was leading the service opened his message with the question, “How did we get here?”  He then proceeded to give a history lesson of Loren’s life and highlighted some of the significant milestones that were a part of his journey.  Once he had concluded, it all made sense.  What I mean is, it was clear why his funeral was a celebration, and in the days that followed we understood we could grieve with the assurance that Loren was in heaven, face to face with Christ.  The present reality was more clearly understood based on an understanding of the past.


At some point, if not already, you’ve asked yourself that question, “How did I get here?”  The context has or will be either one of despair as you look back on a life of regret and one bad decision after the other or one of joy because you stopped trying to fix it yourself and surrendered it all to Jesus.  A clear understanding of your past helps make more sense of your present reality. 


Now here is the thing: It’s really not about the past or even the present.  It’s really more about what we do from this day forward.  If you’re like me, you’re still breathing.  Your heart is still beating and thus you still have an opportunity to change your future reality.  Too often our past seems like to much to overcome.  We can’t move on or let go, so we just seem to stop and settle.  But instead of letting this happen we must remember these words from scripture…

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. - Philippians 1:6


A better day is right in front of you regardless of the past.  While that past may give reason to your present circumstances it does not have to define your future circumstances.  So live with the assurance that Paul speaks of so that one day in the future your past will speak clearly of a life sold out in obedience and worship to Jesus.  And it will make perfect sense to those gathered at your funeral why it is a celebration.