“Stan,” I began one morning, “with all the changes we encounter, and how quickly things can change from ‘normal’ to a ‘new normal’, do you spend much time thinking about how things were in the past, about how different they were?”
“You mean,” he responded, “like the ‘good old days’?”
“Yeah,” I said. “life was slower, quieter, more peaceful. You think about that?”
“I do,” Stan replied, “but not in the sense of the ‘good’ old days. More in the sense of the ‘bad’ old days!”
“Bad old days?” I responded. “What do you mean?”
“For me,” Stan said, “the old days were the days before I was a Christian and before I began the process of being transformed into who and what God intends. Definitely not ‘good’ for me. Probably not so good for God either!”
“But,” he continued, “I do think about those days from the standpoint of being thankful God reached down and drew me out of those days into a relationship with Him.”
Continuing, he added, “When God does bring those memories to my mind, I think He does so not so I will long for the old days, but so I will see the difference between then and now. He shows me where I would be without Him.”
“Such as your eternal destination when that time comes?” I asked.
“Certainly that,” Stan responded, “but also the whole wonder of what He has for me while I remain on this side of eternity waiting for the train.”
“I think about where I might be and what I might be doing,” he continued, “if God had not done what He did, as well as if He was not doing what He’s doing, in drawing me ever closer to Him.”
Concluding, he said, “Those thoughts serve the purpose of showing me that if God can do what He did with me, He can do the same with anyone who might be stuck in thinking he or she is living in ‘good’ days without God. And He may want to use me to help them see that there can be a ‘new normal’ of walking with Him!”
Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and . . . be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22 – 24.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for drawing me to you in the truth of all you have for me. Thank you for drawing me out of the old days — the old days before I knew about your provision for both sides of eternity. I am forever thankful for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you want to do. Please help me in following your lead into the deepest possible relationship with you. Please also open me to relate your provision to anyone you bring before me who needs to know you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s provision for a relationship with Him? If not, why? If you have, do you ever think with longing of the days before becoming a Christian? If you do, what do those thoughts look like? Is that what God has for you to think about? Why or why not? Do you agree with the idea God brings old memories to mind for the purpose of comparing what might have been to what is and what can be? Why or why not? Are there people in your life who need to see that a personal relationship with God can and should be the “new normal” for them? If so, what are you going to do about that?