Over the last few months I have been replaying in my mind all the things I use to be able to do. I exercised daily for forty-five minutes to an hour after work. I cooked daily sipping up the best stew chicken, curry or jerk chicken one could ever hope to taste. I could clean my whole house in three hours flat and still be able to write a story, read a few chapters in a book, and play a family game with my husband and children. I had energy to burn.
Sadly this is no longer the case. Since January 2005 my life has changed. My life’s energy has dwindled to an all time low. I no longer work outside the house. I can barely walk six blocks without excruciating pain let alone tackle my gazelle, sit-ups, and crunches. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and depression have robbed me of the joys of my life.
Daily I reminisce about the good old days. I find comfort and happiness in the memory book of my mind. I relive the joys of being able to lift my four year old son in my arms without stabbing pains in my arms, back, and legs. Or being able to sit on the floor for hours without my legs going numb and stiff. Or even being able to take a bathe in the tub without needing assistance to get out of the bath. Yes, those were the good ole days.
This morning as I read the Bible I came across a scripture that challenged my reliving the past.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 states “Don’t long for the good old days, for you don’t know whether they were any better than today (New Living Translation, NLT).”
What could this possibly mean I thought? I know that I was able to do more before and today I can do less. I was there. I’m living the difference. I’m feeling it! Shouldn’t I be able to judge the difference?
As the day progressed I asked God those questions. I spoke to Him. I told Him of my desire to understand His word. He answered my query.
Ecclesiastes 6:9 it states, “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless: it is like chasing the wind (NLT).”
I was chasing the wind. Those days were gone, at least for now. I was so focused on the past that I neglected to enjoy my present. I robbed myself of the joy of life. Questions leaped into my consciousness: Who can relive the past? What can you change about the past? You can change nothing, about the past! Why then do you continue to live in it?
A light went off in my head. It was as if I was walking in my sleep and suddenly woke up. I’m wasting the gift God has given me. I am alive. So what my life has changed. He has given me life.
It’s true that I live with pain and depression. It’s true that I struggle daily just to get out of bed. It’s also true that I’m limited in my own strength. But I’m able to do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.
I don’t know what the future holds. My healing could be in my future. My ability to find joy in the midst of the pain could be in my future. My hope for good things starts with my belief in God. All things work together for the good of those that love and trust the Lord.