Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters!
Wordsworth writes, as he revisits Tintern Abbey, musing on how he has matured over the last five years.
For nature then
To me was all in all.
But now, he sees something else in it. Dare he say it—God?
And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man….
* * *
Five years have passed. Looking back to who we were five years ago, if we are Christians, should bring comfort. We should have grown, matured and deepened over the last five years of walking with Jesus because of the working of his mercy and grace on our souls.
About 14 years ago, I was telling my mentor, Lolly Dunlap, that I was frustrated about my marriage which was mediocre then, rather than excellent (and oh, how I hate mediocrity!!) and my temper, which I then hadn’t learnt to control. (But now I have, I am glad to report!!) And my mothering was distracted, and my housekeeping haphazard, and as for exercise…
“Think about 5 years ago,” she said. “Have you improved in any way over the last 5 years?”
I thought. I brightened. I began to tell her how amazing I was in 2001, compared to what I had been in 1996. I was actually showing off about the progress over which I had been so despondent a few minutes earlier.
So if you’ve been a Christian 5 years, think back to what you were 5 years ago, and thank God for how far you’ve come under his loving eyes, with the action of his grace in your soul.
I am not what I ought to be.
I am not what I wish to be.
I am not even what I hope to be.
But by the cross of Christ,
I am not what I was.