Two weeks into the new year! In my best Wendy Williams imitation, “How you doin’?” Perhaps you are feeling as though you are watching your vision board unfold right before your very eyes, or you could possibly be like me, still in a state of listening to determine what needs to be cut and pasted on. Either way, it is super important that we not move forward without acknowledging where we’ve been. Sometimes we are so #done with our past that stopping to reflect may send us into an orbit that we’d rather not engage or entangle again. Yet, as my 7th grade history teacher, Mrs. Nettlesby would say, “We must study the past, in order to understand the present and have a better future.” I was reminded of this very notion during 10am service at church yesterday. The choir was going in singing, “Lord You Are Good.” Specifically, when the appreciation of the past illuminated deeply for me was when they continued to sing, “So many doors you’ve opened,” while the lead singer sang, “You’ve been better than good to me.” Both verses are correct and embedded within the song, but eventually, as what happens, the choir would start to sing what the lead sang. Since I am familiar with the song, and how our choir typically sings it, I noticed that they continued to sing, “So many doors you’ve opened,” a wee bit longer than usual. I’m selfish to believe that perhaps God allowed and ushered those words on repeat, just for me. But, I’m okay to share this belief with you if you find it appropriate after reading.
I cannot count on my best day how many doors God has opened for me! And yet, because I have a bit appetite, with lots of desires and boxes to check before leaving this earth realm, I can sometimes get caught up and not spend enough time acknowledging what has already been. I certainly appreciate the past and the extent to which I’ve come through, simply by the grace of God, and concurrently, I have my sights on “the next.” Without proper reflection, I can allow the enemy to lock me into the belief that I’m actually not as important to God as I would believe, or even what He told me in His Word. Beloved, we must fight all such evil against us. We are in fact #TeamGod and accordingly, He takes care of those in His tribe. The more that we reflect, the greater the assurance we assume in knowing that we have always been cared for, and as such, nothing will be different from the foundation in the future. As the choir belted, “So many doors you’ve opened,” I began to wept, considering each blessing God has afforded. It is not until we engage in that deepening of worship that we can come to the conclusion that “He’s been better than good!”
Revelation 3:8 attests, “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” It does not take God by surprise that we get weary. Sometimes our weariness propels us to look for the new, the different, that which is to come rather than sit in our present circumstance that may not be so pretty. It is never God’s desire for us to fail. After all, the very reality of sending His only son to die for us, gives Him some street cred that we can depend upon. He is in charge and orchestrates the open door, so the least we can do is to give a shout out about it. Once we do, we may then come into the full reality that He is indeed better than good to us!
I know I am not alone. Yesterday I shared an article I’d read online by Janelle Harris. It was written to encourage what she termed, “for colored girls” to not give up hope on their dreams as they age. It struck me, and so I posted, and I heard chatter from others who also hold membership in similar beliefs. In other words, we desire to get to the “you’ve been better than good,” because as of now, things do not align as we’d hoped. Yet, I would challenge us to sit for bit. Let’s reflect on the goodness of the Lord by considering all that He’s already done. Write the number of times He’s opened doors down on paper. Acknowledge them in your prayers. Create movement to demonstrate what He’s done. Write a poem, sing a song, embrace someone, encourage someone, each as tangible reminders that God is still in control, He still cares and He is still opening doors. So. many. doors. Let’s not rush the process. Like the choir, let’s sit with the verse for a bit. I promise the more we appreciate what He’s doing, the greater the propensity to appreciate the goodness of who He is. Better than good.