Ecclesiastes 7:10,14 – Say not, "Why were the former days better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. (RSV)
I often find myself longing for and desiring to live again in times that have already passed me by. What is often referred to as "the good ol' days" is sometimes quite an alluring thought for me. Sometimes I find myself saying or wishing that things in my life could just be the way they were a few months ago, or maybe even a few years ago. It seems that "the good ol' days" are in fact quite dynamic and changing; rarely do we find that they remain the same. Personally, I look back in my life to a time when I had no health problems, no worries, and no stress, and then I begin to wonder why things had to change, why can't I go back to those days in my life and cast aside the pains and worries of today. For many, "the good ol' days" are the days when the stock market was at an all-time high, or when jobs and careers had reached a new pinnacle (but before the added responsibility began to add up). For others, they might be the true days of old when life was "simpler" and computers and technology did not run rampant like a pack of wolves. Some recall fondly a time when the value of a dollar was known and appreciated by all.
Solomon tells us in his wisdom, that, regardless of when those "good ol' days" might be, we should not let ourselves long for those days or compare our current place in life to those bygone days. He tells us that it is not from wisdom that we ask why the former days were better than these. Longing for those days cannot bring back the joy or contentment that we had, but, on the contrary, will bring only bitterness and sadness, as we find ourselves sulking in our current situation. Solomon explains it best in verse 14 when he instructs us to remember that "God has made the one as well as the other." As children of God, our ultimate desire and happiness should be found in living within God's will. That, unfortunately, requires us to accept the bad with the good. God promised us a more abundant life if we would ask Him into our lives, but that abundance refers to joy, contentment, and peace — not money, health, and fame. That contentment and joy comes only by accepting God's will for our lives and trusting that the things He places in our paths are there for a reason. Things in this life will not remain constant, and we cannot always live in "the good ol' days", but God is constant and we always live in the God days.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, we give You praise now for being part of our lives. We realize that at times we fail to find and enjoy the contentment You have promised us. Help us to live and long for the God days in our lives, and not "the good ol' days". Amen.