These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
A friend of mine recently found herself confronted with some past situations that caused pain. Regrets came flooding back anew, and the only words she heard were “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.”
I tried to tell her some things. I hope my words landed as intended. But then I got a little help from Mr. Shakespeare:
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought (Sonnet 30)
William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Even ol’ Bill had his days, his sessions of sweet, silent thought polluted with the regrets and cares of the past. He kept circling the drain, carried on the currents of broken dreams, ever closer to disaster.
But then the most important thought entered his mind; that of his friend who made sorrows end.
For me, it’s my wife Julie and my daughters. Rick Michael has been my best friend since my sophomore year of high school, was best man at my wedding, and collaborator on several songs, including the one for my wife at our reception.
You have yours too, I imagine. A different list from mine, certainly. There is one more name on my list that I pray is on yours too. Jesus.
He is the Friend Who leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul. He is the Friend Who anoints my head with oil and causes my cup to overflow with His blessings.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
When your sessions of sweet, silent thought are hi-jacked by old woes that new wail your dear time’s waste…well, my friend, think on Jesus, Who, through His immeasurable love, saved us from ourselves, made us His friends, and stands at the door, waiting for us to arrive and dwell in His house. Forever.