Friday, February 8, 2013

All Over Again

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 NAS)

Nothing New
The convenience of reading documents and other written or typewritten materials using mobile devices is said to be one of the greatest inventions that revolutionize the way we live today. Yet what is considered a new way of doing things is really nothing new except that it has been made more convenient—an upgrade or improved version of the old. Beside the advantages associated with reading books electronically, for example, reading ebooks differs little from reading them in print media.

Many circumstances in life are like the things of old repackaged to look different. We may feel the situations we are facing now more intense or problematic than before, yet we need not fret because what has been is what will be, unless we choose to respond differently (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The story of Abraham’s life is an example of what it means to choose to respond differently. When sojourning in Egypt, Abram, fearful for his own life, chose to say of his wife she is his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). Later on when sojourning in Gerar, Abraham did the same thing again (Genesis 20:1-14). Some years later, when tested by God to offer up his only son, Abraham responded in acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and was willing to give up his son even in such a dreadful situation (Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19).

Like Abraham and many other people, I too have faced situations in life that frequently is a repeat of the old, repackaged to look and feel different with greater intensity. Some years ago, when I was faced with the loss of a job, I prayed and asked of God for sustenance while struggling to make ends meet through freelancing and working on project assignments. Later on when I was to encounter the same circumstance again, I asked of God for an open door to a job of my interest and ability that pays sufficiently to care for my loved ones. After God granted me my request—though just for a few months to tie through a tight situation—I am once again faced with the same situation. This time around, I choose to wait upon the Lord and seek His direction, thanking Him for the much needed rest.

How we respond to repeated situations is what makes a difference. There are many lessons in life we can learn over and over again, but unless we respond to God in greater trust, we fail to grow in maturity to deal with similar situations. Like temptation, no situation can overtake us but such as is common to man. Our God is faithful who will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle, but will provide us the way of escape that we will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Are we facing a difficult situation today that seemingly keeps coming back? Unless we choose to respond differently, few things in life will ever change. Like Abraham, let us grow in our faith to greater maturity in facing the many situations in our lives by putting our complete trust in Christ.

Dear Lord, thank You for molding us to grow in spiritual maturity to trust You more and more each day. We know Lord that it is through repeated circumstances that we can do better the next time around. Direct us Lord on the right respond we should go with when faced with situations that seem so intense when we are in them. Help us remember how You have seen us through such difficult situations time and again that we may not fret or run away. In You O Lord we shall prevail and overcome all circumstances by faith.

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