Lately, I have been really enjoying Facebook’s “On This Day” feature. For those of you who aren’t familiar, this little feature allows you to see things you posted and friends you made on that day throughout the years. Sometimes these little memories are funny, sometimes they are embarrassing, sometimes they can be creepy—like when you have the same song stuck in your head on the same day six years apart even though you haven’t listened to it recently. Though small snippets from my life, these memories remind me of what I was like, who I was with, and what was happening in my life at that time.
I use my journal in a similar way, reading back over what I have written in the past to see where I was and how I have changed or grown. This can be both encouraging and discouraging, but I think it is important either way. When I am in a dark place, the prayers and answers to prayers that I wrote down encourage me that darkness does not last forever. When I am in a good place, I am reminded by how the Lord has been faithful to me through the ups and downs of life and how he has reminded me of his goodness time and again.
These things were brought to my memory again as I filled out my Annual Review for my job this week. The Annual Review is something we fill out every spring to evaluate our job performance and attitude for the past year. I will confess that I did not feel I could rate myself too highly in many areas this time around. This was a difficult reminder that the last year has not been my healthiest or strongest in relationship with the Lord.
And yet, even in that moment of wishing I had done things differently, I see God’s faithfulness. The beauty of the gospel is that God is faithful, whether we are faithful to him or not. A few weeks ago, at one of our English clubs, I led a lesson about faithfulness. The verse I used when thinking about this topic was 2 Timothy 2:11-13:
“This is a trustworthy saying:
If we die with him,
we will also live with him.
If we endure hardship,
we will reign with him.
If we deny him,
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is.”
As Christians, I think many of us experience times of closeness to the Lord and distance from him. These times can be difficult to admit, especially when you work for a missions organization—but they are the reality, all the same.
In walking through the past year, no matter how close or far I felt from the Lord, it is verses like this one from 2 Timothy that always reminded me that the Lord is walking with us in difficulty, whether we can see his presence or not. No matter what I have thought or felt in those times, I have always known that he remains who he is. He remains faithful because he cannot deny who he is.
With you, with me, with the OMS Hungary team, with us all, he is present. I pray, that you, like me, would be able to look back at times in your past and see the way that God has walked with you, answered your prayers, and remained faithful to you even when you could not see it. I hope that “On This Day” ten years from now, if you remember nothing else, you will remember that the Lord is faithful.