At this season of remembrance I pondered why it is that God made us with memory. Why did he create us with the ability to remember things, people, events, PIN codes and passwords (sometimes)?
As I pondered I realised that memory is an astonishing gift:
- Good things that have happened in the past continue to bless us and cause us to smile as we remember them. The moment of happiness is extended in time and the joy is magnified.
- Important people remain with us in our memories, even after we have lost contact with them or if they have died. The impact that people have had on us, the love we have experienced and shared, the life we have shared with them continues.
- We don’t need to repeat our mistakes. If we didn’t remember we might find ourselves constantly doing the same things wrong or injuring ourselves. Memories of failure can haunt us and guilt can shackle us, but we can also use them to guide us so we have more chance of avoiding doing them again.
- We have hope for the present and the future. The Bible is full of encouragements for God’s people to remember – remember God’s goodness, graciousness, faithfulness and love in the past. When the times are tough and we find it more difficult to sense God’s presence or aren’t sure what he’s up to we can remember how he was there for us in the past and be reassured that he’s with us now and will be no matter what. That is one reason why it is wonderful to have Bibles – we can read of God’s faithfulness to others and be encouraged about his faithfulness to us.
- It draws us closer to God. Jesus told his friends to eat bread and drink wine ‘in remembrance of me’. I find that the occasions when I share bread and wine with other believers are special. They don’t just draw us together but they draw us closer to Jesus as we remember the depths of his love for us.
There’s a lot more to be said about memory, but let me leave you with this thought (and a cheesy joke warning beyond the blessing which you may want to avoid if you are being led into a special place with God right now). Whatever emotions are evoked by your memories, God is there with you. He is in the happiness and the sadness. He is in the laughter and tears. He is in the celebration and regret. He gave us memory and inhabits the memories.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
A loving couple were celebrating their Wedding Anniversary with friends. The husband was talking with his friends, and one of them asked him how long they had been married. The husband thought for a while and then leant over to his closest friend.
“What’s that sort of flower that has prickles on the stem, comes in different colours and you give red ones on Valentine’s Day?” he whispered.
“A rose?” suggested his friend.
“That’s right!” the husband beamed. He called out, “Rose, how long have we been married now?”