I love journaling. Sadly, the only physical journals I can trace are from 2017, but I vaguely recall journaling as far back as when I was a teenager! On the first page of my yearly journals, there’s always a theme, whereby instead of writing down resolutions, I write down a theme I hope will define that year.
The essence of journaling is to allow me to look back and see where I’ve come from—emotionally and spiritually—and to give thanks to God for the innumerable times he has answered my prayers. It’s not surprising then that lately, I’ve found myself reliving times past through the journals.
I’m surrounded by friends who have been hard hit by the effects of this pandemic: some have lost their jobs, others have had to relocate to upcountry because they can no longer afford food and rent, while most have closed down their businesses, not knowing when they will reopen.
The uncertainty has evoked misery, despondency, and crippling fear amongst many of us. A majority of us are pining for years past when there was at least a semblance of ‘security’ and normalcy. Most of the conversations I’m having with friends reflect on what life used to be: lunch dates, sleepovers, bible studies, traveling escapades, Sunday fellowships, etc., the list is endless.
As much as we’re riveted by years past, we need to take caution not to lose touch with reality. Solomon in Ecclesiastes warns us of this peril,
“Say not, “Why were the former days better than these? For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”
It is critical to remind ourselves of unchanging truths when we find ourselves in such ruts. Examples of truths that I’ve been preaching to myself are about God’s immutability. God is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), he changes not. He has shown us, in times past—both in the Bible and in our lives—that he is faithful, he will continue to be faithful. God is working all things together for good for those he has called for his elective purposes.
Nothing is a Waste
So, even as we maneuver through life, at times bewildered by life’s curveballs, nothing is a waste! Your tears are not a waste, your joblessness is not a waste, and this pandemic is not a waste! Any agonizing and unplanned detours are not a waste—not if you look to the Lord for his incredible work, and do everything in his name (Colossians 3:17).
“The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours.”
I find great encouragement particularly from Psalm 84:11,
“For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Believer, there is nothing that God is currently withholding from you; that is for your good both now and for your future.
Remember this: whatever you have now is God’s favor. That which you do not have is his wisdom. Intertwined in it all is His love.