Just about the time I forget… He reminds me.
I was reminded this week that God is watching every moment of our lives.
I never talk about work other than to say I love my job but after seventeen years doing my job, I had two of the most difficult days I have had to face back to back. The rest of the week didn’t look so bright either. So I tried to take some deep breaths and have some patience. It had to get better right?
I know that everyone goes through these periods in life and it is no different for me. However, through these difficult and trying times it is easy to get discouraged. It is when I am discouraged is when I start to doubt a few of the decisions I have made in life. In particular… decisions I made years ago about my career path.
Normally I am a pretty decisive person. I have no issues in making a decision and make it quickly. Most times, I never second guess myself on the decisions I have made. That all changes when I go through times of discouragement.
I know God is aware of the times when I am discouraged. He knows when I’m down and He knows when I need encouragement. I know He sees and understands the condition I am in. It has never been more evident than with what I experienced this week. In the darkest times, we get a glimpse of how much He knows and how well He cares for us.
That glimpse, for me, came this week as a result of something that happened over 20 years ago!
This week I was sitting at home staring at my computer screen, feeling discouraged and allowing my thoughts to drift off to areas where I can develop a bad attitude pretty quickly. Thoughts of bitterness and frustration start to bubble up and I start to think about some of bad experiences I have had in my life.
It’s funny how we can quickly we can move from being encouraged to feeling discouraged. I think this is what the Apostle Paul talks about when he references battling the “old man” we once were.
Anyway… just about that time when I start second guessing a few decisions I have made in life as it pertains to my career choices. I see that I received a email from one of my former students that I had not really spoken to in years. I was stunned by what I read…
Here’s the note I received this week:
Dear Mr Lee,
I am writing to you because I have never said thank you to you. I am taking the time to say thank-you for what you did for me at TCA and FBT. I was the typical pain in the butt kid and you were very good to me and my family. I know that it was an attempt to reach me for God. I think back and it is amazing to me how God never lost patience, just kept sending people into my life to show me His love is real. It took plenty of them & you were one before my heart and softened it to His truths. Thank you for letting God use you to help others – I know I am not the only one you helped this way.
Thank-You for treating me like a friend even there is a big age gap. Thank-you for treating me equal and not some nerd, worthless kid. Thank-you for taking me home from school, church and sporting events. Thank-you for everything…..thank-you for allowing me to call you as my friend.
Do you ever get one of those notes that just makes a shiver run down your spine? This one did it for me.
Why? Because if I am completely honest, I would have to say that over the years I have questioned whether my 12 years in the ministry was worth the pain and the sacrifice that I endured. I never knew if what I did mattered. I always say that “Mr. Lee” died a long time ago and I am not the person I once was. I have pushed back many thoughts and feelings about the time I spent in the ministry. I try very hard to not “remember” that time in my life. Maybe because it still hurts to remember but more than likely it is because I have been on “the shelf” and I have not been able to teach from God’s Word for more than 18 years.
Most days in my life these negative thoughts never cross my mind. It is only when discouragement sets in that I struggle with having these thoughts.
When I needed to be reminded the most, God sent someone from my past to encourage me. It could not have come at a better time in my life. It was a gift from God in a time when I needed it. For me… it reminded me of God’s wonderful care for us and love for us even when we are dealing with the pains that this life can give.
It’s a wonderful comfort that God is watching and caring for His children. I’m so glad I’m one of them!
As a result… today I’m celebrating what God allowed me to be a part of all those years ago.