Sometimes my mind dwells on mistakes of the past, tracing the missteps to my current circumstances. I soak my heart in regrets, imagining that every imperfection in my life is the result of my foolishness and sin. I glorify situations I walked away from with every good reason and wonder now why I was so stupid. I am jealous of the blessings of those around me and overlook my own. Conversely, other times I see others experiencing difficulties and question how they could have gotten themselves into such a mess. In those moments, my failures are put away and I think myself quite clever for avoiding their fate.
Today, I was living in the land of regrets and longing when I was reminded of the word I received from God four years ago. That’s how I thought of it, anyway. Not saying, “Thus saith the Lord,” or anything, but on that day in December four years ago, I stopped in my self-pitying tracks and wrote down what I sensed Him saying to me. I still need to be reminded of the message from time to time, and I returned to it today.
You may be like me, alternately feeling the weight of your past or waxing grandiose about your life as compared to another, congratulating yourself for your wisdom. On whichever side of the divide we find ourselves, it is good to be reminded that God wrote all our days in His book before even one came to be (Psalm 139:16). We all experience His blessings, and we all need His grace. This is what I wrote down that day:
“When you imagine that you are where you are in life based solely on your own efforts—good or bad—you exercise a kind of vanity and pride. Yes, you make choices along the path, but I determine the path, and I have placed those choices along the way for my purposes.
You are mine. Just as you do what you wish with your possessions, so I do with mine—though I don’t cast them aside as you do when they no longer please you. I cherish and care for them, seeing the beauty and use for each one.
Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought. You and everyone are in my control. Don’t judge yourself or anyone else based on circumstances, whether high or low. You are where I have placed you and this is true for every man. I love you all.
Trust that I have a good plan for you. Follow the crumbs I have left to guide you home.”
We can’t know why our own circumstances are as they are. Don’t beat yourself up for your past mistakes. They are done and over and there’s nothing you can do about them. Even if a negative situation in your life seems to be a direct result of your sin, God may intend to use it to bring about a great victory (Romans 8:28). And don’t pat yourself on the back for your successes, especially as compared to another. “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV).”
So today, I will thank God for my life just as it is, trusting His plan, following His guidance.