Image by Keep Wine Simple
Ever look back on the “good old days?” Were yours as good as you remember, or has time improved them? Or were your good old days something you impatiently awaited, and they came so slowly? Sometimes the best seasons of our lives still lie before us.
those “good old days”
never to be lived again
searching for a passion
to give direction to my life
searching for a better job
than just one to pay the bills
searching for an attractive and willing woman
to share my journey
searching for the freedom
to fully craft the life
The days are better
So often, when younger, the good times seemed in the future. The distant future. The passion that gave overall direction to my life didn’t arrive until 23, when after years of searching I finally discovered the challenge and purpose and joy and struggle that came with letting Jesus become my Lord. But that took a lot of impatient searching and frustration.
A job that did more than pay the bills only came at 30, when I discovered only ministry could satisfy the professional restlessness of my heart. At 31, the willing woman came at that first ministry, and our journey has been joyful and frustrating and so fulfilling. And the freedom to more fully craft the life only came at 67, retirement, with a much greater chance to choose what to do and when and how, and when to take a break.
So, the meaning for all of us in growing in Christ? First, do think ahead. Ponder. Pray. Plan. Try to figure out the best values and directions and how you should live in Jesus. But, hold to them loosely, and give God room to act on your behalf. We often need to pay some dues, to get through some training sessions, before God knows we’re ready for what we think we’re ready for. I’ve struggled too much with the passage, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9), thinking my wisdom matched that of the Creator.
Second, develop patience. None of those crucial steps in my life came at the time I wanted them. I had essential lessons to learn. Yes, I often objected to God, strongly, at his timing. No, I don’t do that anymore. Yes, I’ve apologized to him, and confessed it publicly, like now. Two truths have helped me with that: God loves me more than I love myself, and Father knows best.
And remember, like at Cana, the best wine often comes last.
Kick Starting the Application
Think back to some occasions you thought God delayed unnecessarily. Has time given you a better perspective? What specifically allowed that? Do you have something you await, more eagerly than patiently? Why might God be delaying that? Can you accept his love and wisdom?