Someone must have thought it would be a good idea for me to take a stroll along memory lane, recently.
First there was the issue about remembering where I was ten years ago and the impact of a great expression of brotherly love. I recently had the great pleasure of seeing a former work colleague who I have not seen in a good few years. We worked together for nearly two years and in that time developed a really good working relationship. I have a great deal of respect for him, I really enjoyed how he did his work with such a meticulous care and attention. As the job we did was about working with people I admired how he really poured out himself for the benefit of others.
What was particularly poignant in seeing him again was that it was ten years ago this month that were were finally let go by the company because of a lack of funds to keep the project running. That decision was a body blow to me after a series of other demoralising developments in my life. It was why my brother’s compassion to me was so meaningful.
Ten years later and in as much as times have changed, not everything has. My work colleague remained the considerate and caring person I remembered him to be. I was so impressed to see him reeling off so many things of what happened when we worked together, so many hobbies and habits that others may have forgot, but this man remembered. It was great to see, it was great to notice how much those brilliant qualities remained despite ten years of such hardship.
Ten years later and in as much as my colleague has not substantially changed, I know that I have. I know that back then my relationship with God needed to be deepened. God used those circumstances to humble me and where necessary see how I humiliated myself. Through that hard time came a season of renewal and restoration – a time of a spiritual renaissance where it began to become more apparent that the relationship with God was not based on how well I performed. The relationship is always based on His grace towards me and His holy love poured out in me to turn my eyes to Him and develop a complete dependency on Him.
Things have happened since then to challenge my faith. Episodes have happened that have made me sad and downhearted. Yet the despair have not lasted. There is something that gives me hope and comfort in the middle of all the challenging times.
The hope I have is the reality that I am redeemed. My relationship with God is based on Him buying me back from the grips of self and sin. The relationship is strengthened by His unwavering commitment towards me. His unfailing love to me. His guiding hand that disciplines me and guides me to rest and find restoration in Him. Even when I give up on me, He doesn’t. He will not. He will bring me back to Him.
There are plenty of tougher days ahead, but there are brighter days ahead too that will far outweigh those tough days. His remarkable love for me now allows me to look back on ten years and see His faithfulness and return thanks for it.
My aim and determination is to follow Him and allow Him to restore me when I fail and realise that His Spirit lives within so I don’t have to fail. To be focussed on what matters to Him and produce fruit that will last by His Spirit.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden