Did you ever wish you could push a reset button, or “control-alternate-delete” your life and begin again — knowing what you know now?
We are aware such a thought, or wish is not realistic, and furthermore, it has occurred to me just how empty such a life would be.
The things you know today, you learned through difficulties and trials — things you would have not learned any other way.
Isn’t it absurd to even entertain the idea of thinking we could have done life much better under our control? Sometimes I wonder, “Lord, why didn’t you give us all the wisdom while we were young and robust, and our lives were in front of us?”
But here’s the way God works life for us: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. God seems to think it’s best for Him to perform the growth process and hard-knocks during our young, energetic years. He permits us to stumble — to trip and fall, to get bruised — to make blunders —and to grow thereby. And all along the way, our “inner man” is being renewed — being grown up — gaining maturity and Godly wisdom. That is why a younger person may walk into a nursing home today, thinking they will bring cheer and gladness to a dear old saint, and end up being the one blessed by being in their presence. Their bodies may be worn out, but their “inner man” is strengthened through the years with God’s wisdom. That’s the way God intended life to be.
If life could start all over, knowing what I know today, I would have saved 35 cents of every dollar — I would have kept every automobile I ever owned, stored them in a large, climate-controlled barn, and sold them as classics later in life for millions of dollars. I would have probably joined the military right out of high school, and when discharged, I would go to college on the G.I. bill. I would steer clear of the opportunities to make blunders and mistakes — in other words, I would live my life much better than before, because I would know all the pitfalls, and know all the tricks to make my life great.
But if I lived life like that, I would be less prone to trust God — to step out on faith, not knowing what the end result would be. I wouldn’t grow in grace and in maturity when my life is void of those trials and tribulations.
If I lived life like that, I would be missing something infinitely more valuable —it really is a blessed gift from God, to live life, not knowing what is around the next corner. If we knew, then life would be boring, meaningless. It would be like having x-ray vision and knowing what is inside your Christmas presents long before you open them.
Also, whether we realize it or not, one of the blessings of life is the opportunity to allow God to conform us to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. He does this through hardships and tribulations. And it’s through those experiences that we actually learn the majesty and character of Almighty God, and it is also through those experiences that the sanctification process is ongoing. And that process lasts until God calls us home to Heaven.
If the course of life were plotted and planned out by human standards, what an empty, meaningless life it would be.
And if my life had been plotted and planned out by me instead of the providential hand of God, I wouldn’t be surrounded by the precious people who are in my life today — I wouldn’t be doing what I love to do — that is preaching the gospel to a magnificent church each week.
So that life, which I now live, even with all it’s pitfalls and hardships, which have caused me grief, and God’s chastening hand, has been an excellent, exhilarating, exciting life, and the rewards have been plentiful. No, I have no desire to press the reset button on this life. It is the precursor to a glorious life in Heaven with God the Father and Jesus because it was during this life that I surrendered my life to Him. If I could have reset my life, I might have missed Him.