Memory is a powerful thing. It can transport you back in an instant to the time when you were happiest and it can paralyse you with an all too familiar pain.
Our mental health is often inextricably linked with our memory. We can mourn the loss of memory in illnesses like Dementia and we can struggle with the re-living of memories in illnesses like Post Traumatic Stress.
Enjoying good memories can ground us and help to lighten the dark days.
The christian faith relies on memory; throughout scripture the Israelites are called upon to remember the way God saved them and carried them out of Egypt, our trust in God is based often on our memories of His character and work in the past.
When I look forward with fear, sometimes looking back and remembering how far He has carried me is a great comfort and encouragement.
Psalm 77 verses 11 and 12 speaks of this:
“I remember what the Lord did;
I remember the miracles you did long ago.
I think about all the things you did
and consider your deeds.”
When God seems silent to our cries; we can call on our memory of a God whose spoken in our history.
When God seems to be absent, we can call on our memory of a God who is Immanuel – God with us and has promised to be with us through the Spirit forevermore.
The most powerful function of memory, is to be able to look back and see God at work in the times we felt He was most absent.
Frederick Buechener writes:
“It is through memory that we are able to reclaim much of our lives that we have long since written off by finding that in everything that has happened to us over the years God was offering us possibilities of new life and healing which, though we may have missed them at the time, we can still chose and be brought to life by and healed by all these years later.”
Look back and see how far grace has carried you.
Look forward and know that He’s brought you this far and will lead you home.