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Listen while you read: "Revive Us Again"1 (Lyrics)
Early in May, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. I was driving along and saw a long line of yellow six-inch pipe strung out along the side of the road. Obviously, there was a pipeline project in the making, and in an instant flashback, I went back to the days when I worked on pipeline construction in every province from Quebec west and in two states in the USA. I remembered the security of a steady monthly pay cheque, and the excitement and the challenge of moving our house trailer to a new location and a new project. I was an office manager, and all our equipment was also mobile in an office trailer, which I shared with a payroll clerk and a secretary. On some projects, we hired as many as 350 to 400 employees. There was the camaraderie and, in some cases, the friendship of some employees who also moved from project to project. After the years on construction projects, we spent fifteen years in different countries in Europe and the Middle East. Of course, as happens so often, as the years have gone by, the bad times and frustrations have faded into the background.
When this wave of nostalgia subsided to a mere ripple, I wondered whether it is normal to be nostalgic about the "good old days". Sometimes, it feels like we had more fellowship with friends, both at work and in the churches that we attended, than we do now. Thinking about that may create a feeling of loss, so God does not want us the dwell on the past — even though I do quite often.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 – Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions. (NIV)
Then, I wondered whether Jesus' disciples ever longed for the old days at home, or fishing on the sea of Galilee, or the friends and family that they had left behind and saw only on occasion. I remembered that after Jesus' resurrection, some of His disciples went back to fishing:
John 21:1-3a – Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." (NIV)
On that occasion, Jesus reinstated Peter, who had denied Him, and Peter went out and changed the world.
I think that it is good for us to remember our past experiences when the Lord blessed us in the good times and helped us through the difficult ones. Such memories help us to weather the present times. Then, it dawned on me that the good times are now — and because of our hope of heaven, the best times are yet to come!
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for all the experiences of Your blessing that we have had. We thank You that we are assured that You are always with us. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Great devotion, Joel.
Memories are great treasures! Blessings.
Thank you. I enjoyed this piece of writing. Good scripture. Keep well.
Thanks, Joel, for a very interesting devotional. It also has a good application for us all.
O YES, Joel! Just what I needed to hear this morning. What a concise and blessedly succinct message, directly to my heart. Best to you today.
Memories are indeed a wonderful book of faith concerning what the Lord has done for us!
Thanks, Joel. It is so tempting to focus on the ‘good ol’ days’ especially when things aren’t going well in the present. Thanks for this helpful devotional. May God bless you in a special way TODAY.
Yes, Joel, remembering the good times from the past reminds us that today’s events may become tomorrow’s good men especially when the Lord directs our thoughts. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.
I find getting together ( when it’s safe with Covid) with younger people, our children and their friends really help us to look forward as it is so easy to dwell in the past when 80 approaches.
Good Morning Joel,
Waves of nostalgia are a part of life for my friends and me. I would imagine, depending on our experience, we each handle them in a different way, but generally with different emotions. Thanks for this thought-provoking devotional.
Joel – today was a “good old day” because I recognized your imprint on the devotional as soon as I started reading. It is important to me that I form this connection with the folks who touch my life through God’s leading.
Thanks for your faithful witness.
Hi Joel, I really enjoyed your Devotional today. I like hearing life stories that tie in with the Bible verses. Since the pandemic it is hard not to think of the years past when we could see family, give hugs, and attend church every Sunday. It is encouraging to know it is ok to look back with fond memories but to try and stay focused on today and our future in Heaven.
Thanks so much for sharing part of your story. I enjoy your Devotionals.
Blessings to you and your family.
Oh, how I enjoyed your devotional this morning as memories came flooding back of the days when my husband and I had an oilfield trucking company and the Lord blessed us with plentiful staff and a good livelihood. I agree with you that those were the “good old days”, and the Lord is still with us these days too. He is guiding us through whatever we face, and He still has the best times prepared for us when we meet with Him in that Heavenly home.
Blessings for these meaningful and reassuring writings you do.
Thank you for today’s devotional. Reflections are good, it does seem to be as time wears on, the good times are the memories that crop up. I certainly find that to be true, since my husband died. I still have many reflections of the good times we had as a family. That does not mean to say that there were no bad times, because there were. I think every one of us have good and bad times. I think of “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”, and ask myself, is part of this comforting remembering the good and letting go of the bad…. makes sense. Knowing that perhaps we all need to strive for more good times than bad to the best of our abilities.
Appreciate your devotionals.
Thanks again for your sharing and your insights. We’ve done a bit of remembering as my sister just celebrated her 80th birthday. Her children put together a book of memories from family and friends — I had a picture of her when I was holding her as a baby. Also, this morning I was reminded of when The Hour Of Decision went on the air in 1950 with Cliff Barrow leading the music and Billy giving the message—I heard him for the first time in about 1950-51 when he was with Youth For Christ when I was a student at College. As you probably know, Billy influenced Dr. Robert Schuller to call his TV program, “The Hour of Power” and his grandson, Bobby Schuller is still preaching on that program. Thanks again for your good devotionals. Keep on putting them on PresbyCan. Blessings.
Thank you for sharing your daily devotional. I am so grateful for each life experience I had.
As we are still locked down it has been a wonderful time to enjoy these reflections and learn from them.
Many heartbreaks now are less painful as they mesh with good times in my memory.
Life seems to be a cycle. This morning I was awakened to remember the many who were special to me whose life on earth has ended.
Gladly a few friends still keep in touch. What amazes me is the number of people who passed on who affected my life but were much younger than I was at the time.
And here I am.
Thank you for your reflections of pipeline days. Sounds like one of those adventures young folks dream of before settling down.
I forwarded this message to my sister. She phoned, and we rejoiced in memories of family trips, celebrations. God continues to bless us in our senior years. Thank you.