January 12

Job 27-29

Who was Job anyway? To hear him describe himself you would think he was the most popular, the most respected, the most loved man in town. Job lists his altruistic deeds and they are many. So are the praises from his neighbors.

Job naturally longs for the good old days. Back then he had it all… wealth, power, respect, his children, his health. The present is just too painful. My heart broke for him when I read, “Oh for the days when… my children were with me.” It makes me sad because I long for the days when Geoff was still with us, too.

I think God wants me to realize that if I allow myself to dwell on the past I miss out on the blessings of the present. Most of us at one time or another have probably been guilty of remembering the past a little rosier or a little worse than it actually was.

When I was a little girl there was a hill at the end of our dead end street that was perfect for sledding. We spent many happy hours on that giant hill and I remember not only the joy of flying down, but trudging back up the mountain over and over.

After high school I went off to college and hadn’t even seen the hill for years. One day I decided to take a walk up the street and was shocked to see that the hill had shrunk. It was nowhere close to being mountainous. Over the years I had created a long, steep grade in my mind. The reality was a more gentle slope. (It’s still a good place for kids to sled)

But isn’t that the way with memories? My dad used to long for the good old days when men were men and people were honest, when women didn’t dress like men and children obeyed their parents. Let’s be honest, though. Even the good old days had their share of problems.

Memories themselves can be precious treasures. And it’s good to take them out and polish them off sometimes. But if we choose to live in the past, whether the past was ideal or filled with pain, we can miss out on some pretty amazing things in the present.

God, when  you created us with the ability to remember you gave us a precious gift… and a curse. Thank you for a lifetime full of memories. May I put them in perspective and not allow them to take my eyes off what you have for me today. May my past not hold me back or steal the joy you want to share with me. Lord, I give you today. I thank you for yesterday. And I trust you with tomorrow.

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