“Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.” – Tim Keller
Nostalgia is something that we all experience. It brings us back to times that we really enjoyed. We often feel that if we could just experience those times again, that we would be happier than we are right now. This could be a memory of any sort of situation. We could look back at our high school or college days and remember how fun it was to be apart of that school and apart of that group of people. It could be a job that we once had, that we really felt accomplished in. We even do this relationships and friendships. We think to ourselves, that if we still just had those people in our lives, that would make things much better than they are right now. This nostalgia often leaves us bitter and destroys us.
I have dealt with this recently but I feel that God revealed himself to me through his word about these situations. I was reading 2 Samuel 12 where David is told by God that he was going to take his son from him because of his sin with Bathsheba. Then we can read that David laid on the ground all night and sought God and prayed that he would not take his son from him. The elders stood by him and tried to get him up from the ground but he wouldn’t get up or even eat. Then his son died but the elders were afraid to tell him because they were afraid that he would hurt himself. But David figured out that his son was gone.
The next part is what spoke to me because David rose from the ground, washed himself, worshiped the Lord, and then ate with the elders. They were all amazed at this and said “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food (2 Samuel 12:21).” Then David replied with “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me (2 Samuel 12:22-23).”
You see I compared my situation and realized that I could no longer keep praying and asking to have that former life back. It was dead and God was calling me to realize that and get up off the ground and worship him. In order for me to move forward with life, I had to realize that God was calling me to move on to new things. Sometimes things happen in life that really hurt us and leave deep wounds. Jesus doesn’t just want to cover up these wounds and act like they aren’t there. He wants to heal us completely.
We have to stop remembering these things in the past and realize that God is in control and we have to move forward. God wants us to have a life of joy, not of bitterness.