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The good old days

I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. When I was in my prime, God’s friendship was felt in my home. The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. My steps were awash in cream, and the rocks gushed olive oil for me. Job 29:1-6

From the text, Job was longing to experience the good old days where he experienced abundance in material blessings and health. He described how God’s approval was visible in his life when God took care of all his needs. Yet, when trouble came and all his material prosperity, family, and health were gone, he felt that all he had were memories of the past. What Job was dealing with at this stage of his life serves as good reminder that we should try to see life in a balanced way. Yes, God allows us to experience difficulties and trials in life, but we should not forget that there are also times when God sends victories and joys. Job had this perspective early on when he started to experience trials in life. “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10) As Charles H. Spurgeon once said that too many people “write their blessings in the sand but engrave their sorrows in marble.” When we are experiencing trials, it’s natural for us to long for “the good old days”; but our longing will not change our situation. What stays with us is the belief that even when we experience trials in life God’s presence is with us. “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me” (Psalm 23:4). It is good to look back and remember the way God cared and provided for us for it could guide us as we look in our present trials as well as the life to come. But it could also hold us back and tie us down robbing us of the opportunity to grow in the midst of the testing we are facing. “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:10). As the Psalmist admonished the Israelites to not forget God’s working in their midst in the past, he urged them to use the memories so they could be hopeful for the present and to drive them to obey God’s commands. “So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands” (Psalm 78:7).


Noel De Guzman

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