November 09, 2020
Don’t you love reminiscing about the old normal? I do.
I love scrolling through my gallery and seeing all the beautiful memories I made with family, dear friends, and church community. I revel in the times I spent with them in coffee shops, open spaces, and far-away places.
Looking back at how I used to live rekindles the feelings I felt during those moments—joy, happiness, and excitement. I catch myself doing this too many times to count. Why? I miss those moments. I miss the people. I miss everything.
This was something God had to gently call me out on. It may not seem to be a big deal, but it’s a detail in my heart that mattered to Him. At one point, I would wake up every morning, sad and ungrateful. To get myself out of the funk, I would go through my Instagram archives and gallery just so I could smile again.
You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t it good to look back and remember the normal days?” Well, yes—and no. The Bible even exhorts us to do so, but it exhorts us to look back so we can remember God’s faithfulness in the past, enabling us to hope in the present for His better future.
However, I allowed my nostalgia to lead me away from Him, to long for what can no longer be and for the wrong things. Impatience and ungratefulness crept into my heart as a result.
I found myself crying and unable to sleep one evening. But God, in His lovingkindness, led me to this verse: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)
When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they could’ve looked back to magnify the faithfulness of God when He brought them out of slavery. Instead, they looked back and longed for the small comforts in the land where they were enslaved.
They were living in the past. I was living in the past. But God wanted me to start living in the present. How?
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.”
I needed to acknowledge that true life isn’t found in the fun and happiness I felt then. It is something that I am experiencing now. True life is found within and comes only from the source of all life—the Holy Spirit.
Looking back may allow us to relive the good feelings from our best memories. But when we get stuck in the past, it can rob us of the beauty of the present and distract us from true life.
“The words I have spoken for you are spirit and they are life.”
By taking my portion of His word daily, I become more aware, alive, satisfied, joyful, and fruitful! It allowed me to enjoy today and create beautiful memories in the midst of any circumstance with the One who orchestrates them all.
If you’re like me and you’re struggling with moving on because of how things have become, have hope that life is not about what we’re missing. We can have peace and look forward to how God will show His faithfulness and help us live life to the full. Living today with Him is worth it, and it’s nothing compared to what used to be.
(photo by: Dan Tan)