I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 CSB)
A couple years ago I went to my twentieth high school reunion. It was an event that I’d built up to be a thing in my head, one I was both nervous about and looking forward to. It turned out to be less “a thing” and more a pleasant evening spent with a handful of people I have much affection for and haven’t seen in several years.
I grew up in a small town and graduated with just under one hundred people, the majority of whom I’d known since preschool or kindergarten. We certainly didn’t spend those formative years always holding hands and singing Kumbaya, but overall we were a pretty tight-knit group of kids for most of our young lives. Social media provides a surface-level knowledge of what everyone is up to (or at least what their kids look like), but there’s something to be said about putting your arms around an old friend and hugging her neck.
It was a fun night that included some reminiscing, some revelations, and lots of hugs and laughter. I’m glad I went (and may have volunteered to help plan a bigger, better event when we do it again in five years).
However. One moment did surprise me – and not in a good way.
A classmate’s wife walked up to me pretty early in the evening. I’d said hello when they arrived but hadn’t had a chance to chat yet. She stopped in front of me and said, “So, my husband tells me you were the class valedictorian.” A little taken aback by her tone and not sure where this conversation was going, I said, “Yes, I was.” She then said the very words that I ask myself in my lowest moments. She said, with a big laugh as if we were all in on the joke, “Well, what have you done with that since graduation?”
What have you done?
What have you accomplished?
Is this the best you could do?
You didn’t really go anywhere, huh?
Guessed you peaked in high school…
In her defense, she didn’t say any of those last words, the words that echo in my heart when I doubt myself the most. And I don’t believe her insult was actually intentional or personal. After all, we hadn’t met before that night.
But it sure landed a blow anyway.
Has anyone ever said something that made you fear you would no longer have opportunities to serve the Lord? What was that like? What helps you remember that God is still working in your heart and your life, that He’s still using you and your life? Reflect on these things and your past experiences, and tomorrow we will look at how God promises us so much more.
This is an excerpt from Journey to the Cross: Forty Days to Prepare Your Heart for Easter, from the (in)courage community. If you are enjoying this series, you can purchase the book to experience forty days of encouragement and guided Scripture, reflections, and prayers.