Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been sustained from the womb, carried along since birth. Even to your old age, I will be the same, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you and deliver you. To whom will you liken Me or count Me equal? To whom will you compare Me, that we should be alike?… Isaiah 46:3-5
I can recall the exuberance and the optimism that I have possessed throughout my lifespan. When a physical disability abruptly ended my nursing career, I did not plummet into the abyss of despondency or depression. I prayed and asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit and to reveal His purpose for my life. God answered and has blessed me with the ability to witness and to encourage others on a global level.
As a retiree, the daily challenges of life still exist, many unexpected events hit hard, problems, and obstacles that could shatter my peaceful existence. The cold winds of trials and tribulations continue to blow; still, I have decided to make God the center of my life. I believe that my little seed of faith continues to grow because God continues to bring the sunshine of His grace and mercy when I need it the most.
As we mature through the lifespan, we have a tendency to reflect on unfulfilled dreams, the failure to achieve, or we are overcome with regret for past decisions. Yes, we may even ask ourselves, “Why did I do it?” We made those mistakes and chose the wrong course of action based on the level of knowledge that we possessed at that moment in time. So be it, we must forgive ourselves, ask those who were impacted to forgive us, pray to God for forgiveness, and faithfully move forward.
God does not desire us to be filled with regret, sadness, or sorrow at any point in our lives. In Nehemiah 8:1-11, as the prophet, Ezra, and the Levites read and instructed the people from the Book of the Law of God, they began to weep. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the LORD, your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah 8:9
In every stage of life, the Word of God exposes our past and present transgressions and state of unrighteousness. Even so, God has not given us biblical instruction for condemnation. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16. When we realize the true purpose of the Holy Scriptures, our lives will be filled with joy and hope.
We do not have to live as unbelievers, swimming in a sea of regret for ongoing mistakes. God’s Word teaches us what is holy and unholy and identifies the absolute truth. The lack of knowledge can never be our reason for making bad decisions, nor are we compelled to commit wrongdoing because we did not have spiritual guidance. It is up to us to believe and receive God’s plan to be filled with joy and not sorrow, to be filled with hope and not despair. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15.
From birth to old age, God is here. In every life event, whether joyful or disappointing, we must include God by continually praying and studying the Bible. We serve a loving and powerful God who always keeps His promises, and that gives us a reason to forever possess inner joy.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020