And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Exodus 14:31

Many people use this time of year to reflect on the previous twelve months: what we’ve achieved, what we’ve learned, what we’d like to do differently next year. So what is the value of this reflection? God gives His children the ability to see things from other perspectives, gaze back, and consider past experiences in light of the insights we have today. This ability helps us to grow in the present and for the future. After the Israelites escaped the Pharaoh's army, we’re told, “the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him” (Exodus 14:31). They then spent years in the wilderness, putting their trust in God to care for them and ensure they made it to the Promised Land. After the Exodus, the people of Israel frequently reflected back to God’s faithfulness and protection in that event. This gave them hope for a better future. Reflection is not just mentally going back to an experience and thinking upon it. True reflection happens when we learn about ourselves through past experiences. Then we use these insights as a way to improve ourselves as we move forward. In my own life, I am learning that reflection is a valuable teacher. As I reflect on my experiences in 2021 and apply them to where I am now and where I want to go, I see that God has been with me every step of the way, just as He was with the Israelites. He has been preparing me all along for what is coming next.

REFLECT As we round out another year, take time to truly reflect on your experiences! Journal these questions; How has God used the experiences in 2021 to make you into who you are today? How may these experiences prepare you for 2022?