“Do not say, ‘Why is it that the former days were better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.” – Ecclesiastes 7:10
Reading this made me start in surprise. This is because I started looking back on college years (I know, I’m fresh out of college but it feels like a long time for some reason) and nostalgia hit.
Merriam Webster defines “nostalgia” as:
1) the state of being homesick : homesickness
2) a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition
I was thinking more along the lines of definition #2. And as those gnawing feelings grew and I wished I could go back to this past semester and freeze everything so people wouldn’t leave and I wouldn’t be sad, I failed to realize something -side note, I love the Word of God, so so much. As I read this particular verse (Ecclesiastes 7:10), I was stopped in my tracks leading towards self-pity.
My thoughts were –
I want to be wise – reading Proverbs especially makes me desire wisdom all the more.
The way I’m feeling right now, and the discontentment I’m tempted to feel and am feeling right now because I want my class back – this is not pleasing to the Lord, and I am asking this question in my heart not out of wisdom, but foolishness. It exposes my lack of wisdom.
I asked, “Why?”
And I think I have a wisp of the answer. Not a firm grasp – only the Lord knows exactly why.
I am incredibly prideful and arrogant, and have a desire for control and easily fall into the lie that somehow, I know better than God. Oh. My. The sheer thought of my pride- it terrifies me in a sense and grieves me so. How must it even more grieve my Father, Who loves me beyond measure and yet I fall so short in my desire to live a life perfectly pleasing to Him! In complaining in my heart, I failed in so many ways, with one being to trust in God’s promise in Romans 8:28: “28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
I believed for that moment that I knew what was good better than what God knows to be best. I longed for control. Yes, I love my class, so so much. And when I think about how much I loved and praised God for us all being together these past few years, it makes my heart ache. But while these emotions are not inherently evil in themselves, I so easily let it turn into despair and questioning the Lord.
Which reminds me…
Then the LORD said to Job,
2“Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it.”
3 Then Job answered the LORD and said,
4“Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
5“Once I have spoken, and I will not answer;
Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”
I felt like that when I read the verse in Ecclesiastes.
And also, thinking about the first definition of “nostalgia” (“the state of being homesick : homesickness”) helped me realize (Thank You, Lord for the realization!) that I’m not being homesick. My true home is forever with these wonderful brothers and sisters of mine, bought by Christ’s blood, by the sovereign plan of God, by the work and sustaining of the Holy Spirit.
I forgot for a moment where my true longing lies – my home in being with God. I have not lost ebc<3 (or parts of our class), nor can I ever lose them. God has planned each and every step of every child of His for their good, for His glory that we may forever praise Him! And even if it means missing those who have left for a short while, what a joy and comfort it is to rest in Christ and know He promises a life forever with Him, and forever rejoicing and praising our Lord and Savior with those whom He has chosen and saved!
Oh, how I long for that day! To be with God forever, without sin and with the eternal family Christ paid for – with the suffering He bore for the joy set before Him. God is so good, and utterly true and faithful. I’m awed that through even one verse, He used that to change my nostalgia and redirect my sights on Him.
Matthew 6:33- But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Philippians 4:8- Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
And as always,
Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!