Recently, our Pastor gave a sermon about thanking God that He brought us out of danger, difficulty, and despair into a new life filled with promise and provision. Yes, that is exactly what the Lord has done. He knows about each of us from the beginning to the end, and our mandate, as born-again believers, is to trust God's plan and purpose for our lives. God reminds us of his love for us, in Jeremiah 29:11, '”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” '
Sometimes, reading these encouraging words is such a comfort. I know it is for me. But, other times, our thoughts are drawn back to the day when things appeared easier. I didn't say free of troubles or problems. It just seemed as if the problems weren't as prolonged or discomforting.
Maybe it was the time period – the 50's, 60's, 70's. Yes, the world was different. Our country was different. Slower, simpler, more spiritual--- need I say more? Nevertheless, modern day parents, children, teachers, students, bosses and employees, pastors and the body of Christ, are a part of the great tapestry woven by the fabric of this era we now live in.
Nothing stays the same. Certainly, you agree; and life is but a vapor. James 4:14 reminds us that we do not know what will happen tomorrow, as our lives are a vapor, appearing for a little time and then vanishing away.
We must realize that everything must grow and change. God has given us lives and livelihoods to be a seed for new life, to be productive and to encourage someone--TODAY.
As a wife, mother and grandmother, I often talk to friends and colleagues about the way things 'used to be.' We often say things like: Remember, when we could walk by ourselves to the corner store, or walk ten blocks to school, or stay out all day? And we were without cell phones and computers!
Or, Remember, shows like American Bandstand, Lucy, Bonanza, Jack Benny, Ed Sullivan, Little House on the Prairie and the FBI? Or even in more recent times, remember when our children were very young --- they could play outside or in the park and have fun without fear of being attacked or shot?
Yes, we reminisce like that. But, God is not only a creator, He is change maker. Not only did he make this world, but He made us, the inhabitants of earth, along with a place to grow, learn and evolve. Don't get me wrong, change can be uncomfortable, and often difficult.
Remember, the story of Lot's wife? A familiar bible story that tells the complete destruction of both Sodom and Gomorrah, wicked and sinful places. God decided to annihilate these towns with fire and brimstone. But, prior to the event, God lovingly sent an angel to deliver Lot, his wife and entire family. The angel clearly told them, when running from the destruction, don't look back!
What happened next was a classic example of pining for the things of the past, even if they are wrong or inappropriate. When Lot's wife looked back, longingly, at the place of evil, she was turned into a pillar of salt. (Gen 19:17). Wow, what a story!
That must have been a horrific sight for Lot and his family. Though, a reminder for us today. The world should not change us, we should change the world. As believers, we must keep Jesus' words in our spirit, “in this world, you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Yes, Jesus is our overcomer. He tells us to press on. To move on. To try something new. To sin no more. To be a victor, not a victim. To walk in power and authority. To be a beacon of light for all to see. To walk by faith, not by sight. To love the Lord with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
We may remember those days of long ago and thank God for all He has done. But, God is our provision for now and forever. He is our El-Shaddai, our sufficiency, our nourishment. In Him, we have all that we need.
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