When we’re tempted to look back and think our best days are behind us, God knows better.
Every once in a while, I like to clean out my closets and drawers. Like clockwork, I’ll suddenly be struck with the urge to purge. I will pronounce to myself and anyone in close proximity, This weekend, I’m gonna stay home and get organized. I’m getting rid of stuff!
What inevitably happens, though, is that I will get derailed. I’ll stumble on old photos, trinkets, or loose papers I scribbled journal entries on.
I’ll end up sitting there, surrounded by clutter, and I’ll read and reminisce.
Ah… I sure looked young back then in college. Not a care in the world and wrinkle-free.
Aw, look. There I am, fired up to change the world for Christ. The future looked bright.
Oh, there’s my Jeep. We sure put a lot of mileage on you, didn’t we? Untethered by responsibilities, we drove wherever we wanted to go.
Most of all, I longingly look into my innocent smile. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, life was wide open.
On a Bad Day
Now, my hands hold more baggage, my heart bears scars, and my soul is no longer a stranger to fears and insecurities.
On a bad day, I can feel like my best was already behind me. I can stare into my daily schedule now, and it can feel quite ordinary. Life didn’t work out the way I expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life now and appreciate everything God has abundantly blessed me with.
Gratitude, however, didn’t keep me from feeling like life had reached an equilibrium. I thought the best I could hope for was to finish well. Persevere and stay the course.
I fell into the trap of thinking (incorrectly) that I was simply an older, not-so-shiny version of the best-of-Bonnie, in my youth.
The Beauty of Our Best Days Ahead
God loved me too much to let me wane and atrophy in ignorance.
He brought my attention to the story of the building of the second temple.
When the people of God built the temple a second time, while under captivity, it was a very modest building compared to famed King Solomon’s Temple.
The city was still in ruins. The walls would not even be rebuilt for years. Some of the old men who had seen the splendor of Solomon’s Temple thought this second temple looked pretty sorry and insignificant (Ezra 3:10-13).
They cried and wailed in sadness and disappointment.
“Who despises the day of small things? … (My) hands will also complete it.
… My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!
… I will fill this temple with glory
… The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former.”
Like me, the people got it wrong.
They valued the temple, based on what it looked like, rather than the God who was dwelling in it.
You and I are temples of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19).
God Prefers To Build Low and Humble
Through the life of Jesus, we see that God takes the most modest path in accomplishing His most important and greatest works.
Jesus, Himself, chose the humble, lowly position and came as a servant.
His approach seems foolish to the world. Even to us.
You and I easily get discouraged when we look at our lives and only see small numbers or insignificant scenery.
We look into our bank accounts, our schedules, our health, and our constraints. We don’t see much God can work with.
That’s because we are not seeing through the eyes of faith.
If only we could hear the love in God’s voice, when He sees us downcast at our smallness. What would He say?
I’d like to end my post with the words of Lambert Dolphin, a dear friend and brother in Christ, who has encouraged me countless times:
“Faithfulness in small things is how God grows something of lasting importance.”
Our best days are ahead of us. Why? Because the great God we follow is ahead of us. Nothing too big is impossible for God. More importantly, nothing is too small for Him either.
The beauty of faith isn’t measured by how far you’ve walked on the journey of life; it lies in Who you’ve been walking with.
What do you determine in factoring when you are “at your best”?
When you think about your future, what words come mind?
Pull up a chair. Click to share a comment.
For more words of encouragement, order a copy of my book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.
Beloved Brews Spotlights
Every week, I’ll spotlight a tagged #SpiritualWhitespace image from Instagram (like the beautiful one to the right) or blogger in our Beloved Brews Community. To be considered as a spotlight blogger, please kindly be sure to use the Beloved Brew badge or link back to Faith Barista in your post. Kindreds, I can’t wait to see your photos & read the stories you live. Thank you for sharing your voice.
Tripping Through Faith shares with us this week:
“I tend to want God to follow me. But… I want to quit putting God in a box, quit shoving him in a hole that I want it to fit in, because it’s a nice, neat plan to how I want my life to go. I’m a perfectionist and a planner…I’m learning that’s who I’ve been and that’s not okay. If I truly really, want to be okay with whatever happens in my life, whatever it is my son chooses… It boils down to how much do I trust God.”
Beloved Brews Link Up
Whole-hearted Writing. You & Jesus.
Welcome to our Beloved Brews weekly link-up! Pour out a little love with your words every Thursday (publish any day. link-up on Thursdays). Simply write a blog post about what God’s sharing with your heart this week and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? Just share a comment. Visit thebonniegray.com to read the comments & share your voice too.
Next week’s 7/23 writing prompt: (what is God sharing with your heart?)
Please use the Beloved Brews button in your blog post so we’ll know you’re in our community & others can join (use this html code here). When you link up your post, read & leave an encouraging comment on the post linked up just before yours. Thanks, kindreds!
Share photos that touch your heart with God’s beauty and rest using #spiritualwhitespace on Instagram. It’ll be fun to see your pics!
May the writing prompt bring you to a quiet place in your soul as you share your voice. Click here for details.