Pastor Joe Miller IV
A couple of weeks ago, our church family took a hit and had to give up four senior saints to God the Father, Jesus the Savior, and Heaven’s glory. Our loss, their gain. Dutch Beer, Lucy Christy, Joe Heltion, and Nancy Kozlowski - all of whom loved the Lord, their families, and were faithful church members. I’ll also mention during that week that Karen Claypool’s mom, Janet Miller, was also welcomed to her heavenly home. I think of the impact that they had all made through their relationships. They had spouses, children, and grandchildren - even many great-grandchildren, let alone friends, church families, co-workers, etc.
I sat down with at least one grandchild from each one and talked about the relationship they had with their grandparent and the tremendous influence they had in each of their lives. They told story after story; sometimes we laughed and sometimes we cried, but the vivid recollections of the priceless times spent together with their heroes were embedded in their hearts and minds making a difference in each life. Remembering the 'good ole days,' so quickly gone, but not forgotten.
The same week that this all took place, we had a baby dedication at our church. I’m not going to mention all, but there were ten families of dads and moms with their infant child in front of the church and along with their church family dedicating their children publicly to the Lord. It’s so exciting to see the desire and effort of parents, family, and friends in this important ceremony. As I looked at the faces of these parents and the people that witnessed this, I saw lots of smiles. Smiles of proud parents, smiles of cute babies, and smiles of family members and friends. There were pictures taken, fellowship about young lives and parenting, visitors and dinners afterward - it was 'a good day.'
It’s interesting after witnessing numerous generations that the proverbial time clock doesn’t quit ticking away. Days turn into weeks, weeks into years, and years into generations. I’ve learned that a 'good day,’ whether filled with laughter or tears, will eventually turn into the ‘good ole days.’ The wisest man who ever lived was moved by the Holy Spirit to pen these words.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Every period of time and season we go through has a purpose in the seemingly long but short moment.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Recognizing God for who He is and reflecting that in our lives as followers of Jesus is our reasonable service and purpose for life. My advice is to embrace the ‘good ole days’ and grow from them - not live in them.
Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.
This verse warns that it is not wise to worship the days of the past. Go to Job 29, and see how that panned out for him. Learn from yesterday, enjoy the memories, and allow the lessons (victories or failures) and influential people God placed into your life mature you into a better ambassador for Christ. As for today, it is a gift from God. Don’t waste a moment of it and the opportunities God gives you to glorify Him. Every day is a good day, even though some might seem better than others.
Remember Psalm 118:24.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
In conclusion, let us remember the ‘good ole days’ and thank God for the memories and lessons learned. Then, let us rejoice in this day and not waste a moment in it and the opportunities to glorify God and share the love of Jesus. But let us be reminded of the hope of tomorrow.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
There is a day coming when believers will be reunited with Dutch, Lucy, Joe, Nancy, and Janet and the many others that have gone before us - but the best part is that we will dwell with Jesus forever: now that’s a great day!