Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!
Psalm 90:1 NLT
It is important to look back and consider the past. But beware of rose-tinted spectacles! These glasses distort our memories and we only remember the good things, deleting the bad. Nostalgia has the habit of distorting past realities. It can give the impression that all of our yesterdays were golden, while today is only full of difficulties.
When life offers up a challenge, it is natural to yearn to go back to a time before it. We remember life being less complicated then and want to exchange our present for our past. However, this recollection is a distortion. What’s more, God remains as much our hope and shelter in the challenge as before.
Troubles will afflict each of us. God isn’t absent from such troubles, but harder to find, yet God remains the safe shelter throughout. Finding and then making my way to that shelter is difficult when in trouble. The word comes from the Latin “turbidus”. This means variously foggy, murky, wild and stormy, a pretty good description of the emotional “weather” that surrounds me in my troubles. Navigating on a clear day is easier than when in the midst of storms and poor visibility.
God is our shelter. We have progressed as far through life as this present moment safe in God’s care. Now comes the challenge. Sheltering in God when I am in pain, physical, emotional, mental, is a tough call. But, frankly, it’s all I’ve got. Clinging to God, while not changing my situation, in fact secures my safety. Neither looking back or abandoning God going forward changes my time of trouble.
Do you have a tendency to live in the past?
God, I cling to you for safety and a pathway through my present troubles. Help me to live in the present, to cling to you and not past memories.