65:22 KJV) They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and
another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and
mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
Over the years I have often wondered
how the Lord was going to sort out the injustice (or at least what appeared to be
injustice) of one person claiming what another person built. There was probably
a time in my own life when I thought the real test for such an experience was meant
for the builder and not the invader. That being the case then, in order for the
builder to pass the test he must first smile and keep a good attitude about losing.
I am not sure where I got such an
idea, but it is absolutely ridiculous. God never wants His children to lose…He
wants them to win and keep on winning. He also wants us to fill our memory
banks with victories and re-enjoy them as we go on through life. The fact is we
only lose those things we turn loose of.
Our text is very clear on how the
Lord feels about us living in the winner’s circle. However, in order for us to live in the
winner’s circle we must first live in agreement with God’s plans for our lives.
Even though our text does not say
this, it does imply that we are to enjoy and keep on enjoying (or re-enjoy)
every facet of our lives regardless of what it is.
If that is the case, then we must
believe that our memories are treasures to be re-enjoyed throughout our lives,
rather than deleting them if they were not pleasant. Our past experiences and memories
have played a great part in building the person we are today.
However, the treasures of the
past can be stolen or camouflaged by our circumstances. I realize that we are
not supposed to live in the past, but we are not supposed to ignore it either.
Our past plays a tremendous role in our present and our future regardless of
what we may have experienced. By ignoring our past and not learning from it or
not re-enjoying it means (as our text notes), We build our house and another inhabits it.
Each of us will face this “house
issue” (or the past) in different ways. For example, I had never attended my
high school class reunion until a couple of years ago when I decided to attend.
It had been fifty or sixty years since I had seen some of those folks, and I
apparently thought they would look pretty much the same way...other than a
little gray hair and perhaps a few extra pounds.
I drove several hours from San Antonio to my little East Texas home town, excited to relive a moment of my
past. However, it was not long before my unrealistic bubble burst and reality
set in. As I turned off the main road onto the little dead-end street going
down to my old school where the reunion was to be held, I immediately began feeling
sad. Many of the little white wood framed houses that I had remembered were now
in disarray or had been torn down.
My beautiful old school building (that
was built back in the 30s) was now helplessly standing there with a fallen-in-roof
and broken windows. Even though the school district still owned the property,
it had been abandoned many years ago when the school built new facilities on
the other side of town.
As I parked my car and looked
around my old school property, everything was in disarray except for the
cafeteria building. For whatever reason, the electricity was still on there, so
that is where we held our reunion.
I was sure when I walked in the
cafeteria that I would immediately recognize everyone, but that was not the
case. I had remembered all the girls being cute; with hair in pony tails, wearing
penny loafers, petticoats, and colored scarves around their necks. I also
remembered the guys wearing penny loafers with their jeans rolled up (one roll
to show off their socks), the sleeves of their shirts rolled up one roll to
show off any muscles (they may have had), and their hair loaded with “Brylcreem”
or “Southern Rose” hair oil. My favorite being “Southern Rose.”
However, what I saw when I walked
through the door of the cafeteria was a room full of old people. If the men had
any hair at all it was thin and gray. Their muscled bodies that once brought
admiration from the girls (at least in their minds it did), were now worn and
soft and needing rest.
The beautiful girls that I had
remembered with pony tails, petticoats, and penny loafers were now grandmothers.
Their school girl figures were gone and now their bodies revealed the results
of years of child bearing, hard work and age. Their once beautiful faces were also
marked with the wear and tear of living life. The wrinkles on the faces were
the result of raising children and staying up at night when they were sick,
keeping their home in order and sometimes even performing miracles with the
family finances to stretch them to make them sufficient for the need.
However, the longer I visited
some of my old friends on that unique day, the more I was able to see past the
wrinkles and pain that come with life and into the eyes of the person I once
knew. At that point I was then able to re-enjoy a part of my life I had allowed
“another (years and circumstances) to inhabit.”
The point of this writing is,
that it is the will of God that we reclaim everything we have built and lost in
life and start re-enjoying them again. Never stop dreaming.
Thank You for encouraging us that
we only lose the things that we turn loose of.
We are so excited about what You are giving to us today and how You are restoring
back to us that which we lost from our past.