Who doesn’t love to reminisce, thinking about the “good ol’ days”? I know our kids enjoy hearing about our childhood. Just the other night, they were begging Grandpa to tell more stories (garbage truck, his kids, him as a kid). It reminds me that although we have our own stories, we’re not that different from each other.
We all have times when we were foolish, put ourselves in harm’s way, and had been protected and “survived”. We may even have the scars to prove it.
Have you heard the expression “hindsight is 20/20”? We think we can see the past perfectly, almost. In the moment, it can seem all is lost. But later on, we can see that the Lord had His hand in it.
Recently there have been many difficult situations that can cause us to worry and not trust. Cause us to yearn for simpler times, better times, earlier times. I was reminded of this as I heard a song the other day. Here’s the chorus to a song by Chris Rice, “8th Grade“:
Why does the past always seem safer?
Maybe because at least we know we made it
And why do we worry about the future?
When every day will come just the way the Lord ordained it
God was in it. God is in it. David remembered that too.
“I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.” Psalm 143:4–6 NLT
Reach to God. Rest in Him. Then at a later time, you’ll be able to once again “remember when” and recount how God was in it, again.
There are so many things vying for our attention these days. There is the cry of the baby, the phone call during dinner, the invitation to a gathering, the advertisement around every corner, trying to sow the seed of want. Advertising is a huge business that works to turn your wants into needs and attempts to make you a promise that it can’t fulfill. If you buy this, you will feel/look/become that. If you dedicate your attention to this “thing”, you will get what you “need”. Jesus was offered this same promise in the desert:
Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The Devil told him, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them—because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’” Luke 4:5-8, NLT
Satan wanted that dedication of attention. He wanted that worship. He wanted that which is to be for God, and God alone.
This implies that worship can be directed to something other than God. As we are called to obedience, there is a choice that has to be made. And it is ongoing.
Are we worshipping? Of course we are! That’s what we were made for. So, the real question is “What are we worshiping?”
If you’re like me, there’s probably something you’re looking forward to. Maybe it’s the premiere of a long-awaited sequel to your favorite movie franchise. How about a family reunion where “everyone” will be there. Or it could be an appointment where the doctor says the tests are “clear”.
We’re looking forward to a family vacation. We’ve made many plans, bought the tickets, kept (and finally revealed) great secrets, packed the bags. Our departure is soon. So soon, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. It’s been a little consuming and I’ve become a little anxious about it. Of course there are great expectations. And hopes that there are no disappointments.
Memories will be made. There’s no doubt about that. Even if there be problems or trials. Romans 5 reminds us that even though those problem and trials WILL happen. But they lead us to something else, then something else, and finally…
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NLT
God is fashioning us, molding us (if we let Him) to be more and more like His glorious Son. And that certainly will NEVER disappoint and is the greatest thing we could EVER look forward to.