There is a lot of nostalgia for the good old days. We think back to younger, more care-free days and somehow idolize those times as the best of all times. That is, unless we really think about them. When you ask most people if they would like to go back in time and relive their high school days, or their middle school days, their first look may seem like they want to, but then, if you keep watching their faces, you will most likely note a change as the realization of what the olden days were really like hits them. It doesn’t take long for most people to realize that the good old days may not have been so good.
Perhaps the reason that those days seem so good on the surface was that we didn’t have responsibilities. Oh sure, our parents may have made us do chores, but chores don’t seem like much when we think about making a mortgage or a rent payment. Having to deal with car payments and that student loan that never goes away can make the old days seem pretty good. Most of us worry when we realize that our kids are a lot like we were when we grew up. David’s words seem fairly wise then. “Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.” (Psalm 25:7)
We laugh, perhaps boast of our teen exploits. Then the reality of how dumb they were hits us. We’re thankful for a couple of things. First that we weren’t caught, and second that cell phones and the internet weren’t around back then. No one was there to document our stupidity. As we grow in our relationship with God, though, memories come back and we cringe thinking about what we had done in light of our relationship with Christ now. Perhaps we wonder how God could love us with things like that in our past. Perhaps we think we’ve truly experienced God’s forgiveness but we still can’t forgive ourselves. The truth is that if we have committed our lives to Him, God remembers us not based on our sin, but according to His love and grace.
That’s the key to life, and it’s the key to understanding the Advent season. Jesus came to this earth to break down the barrier that sin creates between each of us and God. David had to seek God to gain a sense of that forgiveness; the blessing of Advent is that God sought us and still seeks us so that we can live in a restored relationship with Him. He grants us grace for daily living. He grants us grace for eternal life. He doesn’t remember us for our sins, He remembers us based on His love and mercy. That’s hard for us to believe. We look at ourselves and wonder how God could love us. Our problem is that we remember the sins that God has forgotten. Our problem is that we tend to act as if we have higher standards than God by not forgiving ourselves when God has already forgiven us. During the Advent season, celebrate the God who came into our lives and brought forgiveness. Forgive yourself and place yourself in His loving arms because He truly is good.
Lord, You are good. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your forgiveness. I especially thank You that my best days lay ahead because of Your grace and mercy.
(Note: during the Advent season the Christian calendar starts again. In order to continue the themes of the calendar year, I am going back to 2015 and adjusting to make these posts.)