“Oh, that I were as in months gone by…”Ahh, the glory days. Any difficult season is prone to lead us back to this lament. I must say, I would love to know a person like glory-days-Job.
- God is with him
- He is respected by everyone; young and old, princes and people
- He helps the poor
- Cares for the orphan
- Makes widows happy again
- Helps the blind and lame
- Is a father to the needy
- Takes down the bad guys
- Is a wise counselor
Can I think of someone who is all those things?? (Maybe Bob Goff?) For sure, I know people who are some of these things, but it’s no wonder heaven knew about him!
And, poor guy, there was no one like him who could return the same compassionate favor in his day of disaster. Instead his friends try to “help” him find something to confess. Others ostracize him and mock him. People can be so ruthless!
It’s easy to glory in the shame of others, judge, condemn and distance ourselves. But it is God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” to care, adopt, nurture, pursue justice and bring joy no matter the circumstances.
It’s easier to make yourself feel better by bringing down others, but it’s a very carnal, deadly, wicked habit. I am all too guilty of this. For awhile, I “did ministry” out of the impression I was “picking up the slack” of Christians who I judged as lazy or self-serving. I needed to produce more, because not everyone was “doing their part”. But imagine how Jeremiah would have felt in the days of Israel’s impending exile; seemingly the only one following God, as Elijah also felt.
Thank God, He has brought me to the liberating realization I am only responsible to Him for myself and He only expects from me what He has given me to steward. I “do ministry” because He has made me free and I want people to know Him and see Him glorified. It’s no longer a weight of duty.
This also frees me up to “rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn”. Not being jealous of those who rejoice and judging those who mourn. That is unhelpful, unhealthy, and I’ve wasted too much energy doing that already.
Yeah, maybe some “glory days” are behind us, but Jesus hasn’t come back yet, so there’s more to do and be.
Let’s encourage those around us today.