I love to look at pictures. Sometimes, as I look through them, I feel a twinge of regret. I see a picture of a smiling face and I place it on its spot in the timeline in my mind.
Oh, that was before we found out about the cancer.
I look at the face frozen in time and think how, if I had only know what was around the corner, I would have stayed in that moment a little longer. Laughed a little more. Held on a little tighter.
That picture? That was before that relationship ended. Before that job was deleted. Before the home was foreclosed on. Before that trial made your life suddenly seem overwhelming.
And you wish you could go back and live in the before moment one more time.
Then, there are those other before moments. Pictures taken during a difficult trial. I see the ‘for the camera’ smile and the pain behind the eyes. I remember the sleepless nights and the heaviness in the chest. Now, on the other side, I can place those pictures on the timeline as well. I see how God made good out of bad. I can see how he restored and redeemed and I wish I had lived those moments differently, as well.
I wish I had worried a little less. I wish I had laughed without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25.) I wish I had better lived out the faith I proclaim.
Here is the harsh reality, friends. It could all be over tomorrow. So, why do we spend so many of our todays worrying and weary. Maybe you are tired of living that way, too?
Today, my prayer is that we would live fully in this moment. I know that some of you are experiencing terrible trials. Someone you love is ill. Your marriage is barely hanging on. You’re lonely. You’re disappointed. You are crying in the shower and losing sleep at night. I am standing beside you in the valley, friend, and I am saying to you, There is good in this moment. Do not look back at the pictures of this season and wish you had walked a little slower or lingered a little longer.
Just a couple of years ago, I sat beside my mother every other Friday as she received her chemo treatments. That was a dark time. I had decided from the start, however, that we were not going to sit in morbid silence for four hours each time. I would purposely act silly. I would search the news for funny stories. I would show up at the hospital with an arsenal of funny stuff or memories I wanted to bring up. And we laughed. We would laugh so much that other patients, sitting alone in their chairs, would put down their books and talk to us. Nurses would come out of their cubicles to sit out in the main room. It is nothing anyone in our family would have chosen, but there was good in those moments. Now, on the other side, she and I can laugh about some of the silly things we did.
Whatever this season holds for you, my friend, I pray that you find the good. It’s there. God is in each moment and, where God is, there is good.