Last year we visited UK and spend a few days with my brother in London. I had looked forward to this vacation for a long time, but a few days after landing, both Nathan and I fell ill. The remaining vacation was spent in bed, recovering. All I wanted at the time was to get back home to Sharjah.
Every time I thought of London or UK, there was a mental bitterness because of my experience there. A few months later, when I met my brother again, he started talking about all the good times we had in UK and all the beautiful places we visited. I suddenly realized that we did have a wonderful vacation there and it was not all that bad!!
So often we tend to focus on the things that did NOT work out according to our plans that we forget about all the good things.
In Philippians 1:3, Paul says “I thank God every time I remember you….. with joy“.
Paul was the founder of the church of Philippi. A lot of things went wrong while he was there, and he was even beaten, chained and imprisoned. But through it all, he was able to bring the jailer and his family to hear the Gospel and get saved. Paul could have thought of all the hardships but when he writes to the church, he uses the word ‘joy’ and ‘rejoice’ 16 times in 4 chapters. He chose to rejoice in the Lord for the good things that happened in Philippi.
In Philippians 4:8, Paul says “whatever is good ….. think of these things and God of peace will be with you”
Some of us have been through tough times, and some scars usually remain. It could be a person, a place or anything that sometimes jogs our past memories and very often they are just negative feelings and hurts that get highlighted. Have you ever tried thinking of the good times with that person or in that place? Suddenly, your perspective changes. It’s not easy, but with the grace of God, we will be able to do it.
Let our good memories overrule our scars and may the peace of God be with us.
Let us pray – Lord, help me be a noticer with a thankful heart no matter how messy my life may appear to be. I’m choosing to rejoice in the imperfect beauty of all of it.