I don’t know about you, but this time of the year sparks a lot of memories with me. I think about both good times and bad.
Obviously, when I’m thinking of the bad, its usually not a good thought and something I should probably put behind me. Nonetheless, they come up and rear their ugly heads and I’m forced to deal with them.
Having found peace with God again, I’ve learned that the bad memories are there for a purpose. They remind me of my past (without Him) and the struggles I faced completely and totally alone.
I have since learned from these memories as, the way I feel, they were teaching me things at that point and at that time that I needed to know and understand if I was ever going to get stronger in this world.
Obviously, the good memories typically bring a smile to my face or even make me laugh! Sure, they may be memories of doing something with someone that is no longer in my life but, nonetheless, they are good memories, good times, and I still treasure them today.
One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is the beautiful gift of memory. In a sense, memory allows us to relive a moment that was so special to us. Likewise, it can remind us of something tragic that taught us a lesson.
You all know me (pretty much). You know I’m a “thinker” and sometimes get deeply wrapped-up in my own thoughts. These days, I constantly find myself reminiscing about the past.
- What I have been through.
- What I have learned.
- Who was in my life.
- Who is no longer in my life.
- How I have changed over the years as a result of these memories.
I truly do Love to cherish and hold on to memories. Honestly, both good and bad.
Once again, in my research, I turned to the Internet. I wanted to see what other people said about our memories and see how those feelings might relate to my own.
- Joseph B. Wirthlin (American businessman and religious leader) – “Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!”
How about you? Do you have any of those “unforgettable” moments? Myself, I’ve got quite a few.
- The home run I hit in Little League – My Dad was there… first and only time!
- The touchdown I made – It was to win the game!
- When all my children were born – They are the greatest gift ever given to me. Each won similar, but different in their own way.
- My Marriage – I know what you’re going to say 😉
- When I found God again – That… was a night I will NEVER forget!
- Oscar Wilde (Irish poet and playwright) – He defines memory as “…the diary that we all carry about with us.”
So true, if we share our memories with others, they may gain a whole new understanding of who we are or why we say and do the things we do. “Oh yeah, that’s why.”
- Dr. Seuss (Yes, Green Eggs and Ham) – “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
I know, this one is rather sad but how many can relate?
When God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments… The first commandment with a promise…
Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
To this day, I honor my parents. After all, they were the ones who helped me through my life providing both encouragement and punishment when it was deserved. Now that’s something that’s a little lacking in today’s society.
My Dad taught me strength – Never to back down; always to stand-up when I knew it was right; and always, always take care of family despite the odds.
My Mother taught me all about the Bible. The word of God and the lessons of Jesus Christ. In her, I learned about compassion, kindness and humility. My Mom never found fault in any living person.
Who remembers a lot of their childhood? Isn’t it amazing how sometimes we can’t remember what we did yesterday, but a childhood memory can stand out like a sore thumb?
Wasn’t our childhood so much more than adulthood? No matter what the day was like, we always found something to do. So creative and full of energy, and… we all played together! There was never any question about race, color, sex or religion.
I wonder if this was why, when Jesus was asked who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, He said…
Matthew 18:4-5 – “4Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 5And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
How about remembering the innocence of your childhood? It wasn’t until we listened to this world, and not the lessons of our parents, that we turned bitter and angry at everything and everyone!
If you read the stories of the Apostle Paul, you will find that he always remembered other believers (like we do here!) in prayer. Paul was imitating Christ which is exactly what we should be doing.
We are called to remember others. We have been given a great privilege to be used by God in prayer. Let’s take advantage of it. I will admit that I struggle with this. My prayers can be so selfish at times… and in these days, who can wonder why?
However, as I get closer to the heart of Christ, I’m noticing a greater love for others. That love manifests in remembering others and praying for them.
Remember that stranger that you talked to about Christ. Remember those unsaved family members. Remember those friends going through tough situations.
If you have problems with this, as I sometimes do myself, I encourage you to pray that God would give you His heart. Pray that He helps you to remember others and that He brings people to your mind as you pray.
2 Timothy 1:3-5 – “3I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
So far, we’ve talked about the good aspect of memories. However, there are also memories that we would like to forget. We all have bad memories that try to resurface in our mind.
The trauma from our past can be overwhelming and I know receiving healing is not easy. However, we have a Savior who restores our brokenness and makes us new. We have a Savior who pours out love and comfort.
We have a Savior who reminds us that we are not our past! He reminds us of our identity in Him. Christ is continually healing us.
He wants us to be vulnerable before Him and bring our brokenness to Him. Always remember that God can use your painful memories for His glory.
He understands your pain and He is faithful to help you through it. Allow Him to renew your mind and work on building your love relationship with Him.
When we’ve lost someone… that’s a pretty painful memory! I like to turn to Psalm when I feel remorse as the verses can provide the strength I need to get through such times.
Psalm 116:3-5 – “3The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
…but then the Psalmist remembers where to find their peace, and solace from the pain as they go on…
4Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” 5The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.”
Here is even better news! Come to Jesus for your pain. Remember what He told us?
Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The Apostle Paul…
Philippians 3:13-14 – “13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Press on toward the goal! Try and forget the painful memories… stay with God!
Treasure the Small Things
Regardless of what happens in our lives, you can pretty much count on the fact that God had something to do with it.
There are times when God is doing things and we might not understand it yet. That is why it’s important to cherish the little moments on your walk with Christ.
You might not know exactly what He is doing but you know something is being done.
As Jesus was washing the feet of His Apostles…
John 13:7 – “Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand.’”
Does anyone here keep a diary? One of the best ways to treasure, and remember, the small things is by journaling or keeping a dairy. Write things down daily and pray about them. In Luke 2 we noticed that Mary treasured and thought about all that occurred and was said before her.
Do you all remember the story when Joseph and Mary had set out of Jerusalem? They had travelled over a day’s journey before they even knew he was missing.
Luke 2:48-51 – “48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ ‘49Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ (or in other versions ‘Doing the work of my Father.’) 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
She treasured things in her heart even though she didn’t fully understand. Okay, maybe Mary wasn’t keeping a daily diary, but she most definitely wrote this one down in her heart! Where do you write your memories down?
We should also treasure and cherish the little things even though we don’t fully understand (as we just read from John) or see the full picture yet.
As we should learn to treasure all things… when something happens, go back to your notes… did it have a purpose?
Leaving a Good Legacy
Remember back in August of this year we talked about “What we leave behind?” I had mentioned the Rascal Flatts song, “How They Remember You.”
One day, every one of us will be just a memory. If we are honest, we all desire to leave a good memory of ourselves after we die. The memory of believers should be a blessing because of holy living. The memory of believers should bring encouragement and inspiration to others.
As Solomon said…
Proverbs 10:7 – “The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.”
Don’t know about you but I most certainly don’t want my name to rot! How about what Solomon’s Father wrote…
Psalm 112:6 – “Surely he will never be shaken. The righteous man will be remembered forever.”
That’s more like it… that’s what I would want. Not that people would feel sad or sorry when they hear my name but, instead, that it would bring back fond memories.
Watch this Lesson
Treasure your memories…
- Remember all that you have been through – try and understand why things happened the way they did.
- Remember your parents – all that they’ve taught you and how they molded your life.
- Remember your childhood – the innocence it played in your life. Get that back! Don’t let this world turn you cold and bitter.
- Remember all those around you – Brothers and Sisters, in prayer as they might not pray as they should for themselves.
- In regards to the painful memories – try and understand you are a new person in Christ Jesus. Let the painful ones disappear into God’s loving hands but keep the little “snippets” of a painful past as reminders or lessons for your future.
- Treasure the small things in life – Try and understand their meaning or how much they might mean to someone else.
- Most of all, leave a good legacy – Live the life Christ taught us how to live and know that you will be remembered for all that is good, kind, giving and compassionate.
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)