When Jeremiah looked in the rear view mirror he saw his traumatic experiences laced in God’s faithfulness and it brought him hope. It will do the same for us.
Written by Calvonia Radford. 5/28/2018
You may remember the portable compact cassette recorder that hit the stores in the late 70’s. This contemporary device allowed audio recording and playback.
I remember my first cassette player/recorder. I had so much fun recording my teenage friends and family and replaying their voices.
Each of us hated the sound of our own voices yet there was no argument they were indeed our voices.
My cassette player/recorder has been long gone, replaced by compact discs “CD’s”, tablets, voice recorders etc.
God created each of us with the ability to remember and recall things.
We call it memory.
Memory is a powerful system.
Etymologically, memory is an Anglo-Norman derivative meaning the ability of a system to record information about things or events with the facility of recalling them later at will.
Sounds like my cassette recorder doesn’t it?
You and I have the ability to push record during any situation or event
push play to recall
Memory can be a gift as well as a curse.
We can recall at will, the wonderfully warm and fuzzy experience of the “good ole days”, reminiscing until tears of joy trickle down our cheeks.
Yet, in contrast, we can press the same button and vividly recount all the painfully challenging episodes of our journey.
One choice leads us to better while the other produces bitterness.
How can we select which memories we recall?
What choices must we make to gain better(ness)?
Remember the good memories.
Paul admonishes us in Philippians 4:8 to dwell on the good thoughts. Logging the good events will create a portfolio of memories to retrieve when the going gets tough.
Sometimes it is hard to remember the good encounters and episodes of life.
I encourage you to write them down and pull them out when you need them. Share them with your family and friends until the good thoughts outway the bad.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
I have a memory book that I use as a portfolio of good things. Kind words, encouraging quotes, newspaper clippings from memorable events, gift cards and the like.
When I get a little down on myself, I pull out that book and encourage myself with its artifacts.
“Memories (which are our thoughts) don’t just come from scrapbooks and albums, they are wired deep into our brains. They stay with us. They follow us everywhere we go; they lie deep in the silent crevices of our thought life; they are woven into the intricate bonds of our relationships; they are quiet witnesses to all our communications with the outside world.” Dr. Carolyn Leaf
Recall the challenging experiences as a testimony of your hope in God.
Jeremiah in Lamentations chapter 3 dumped a truckload of circumstances and situations that would bring a strong man to his knees. His experiences were beyond challenging. Through it all, he watched God reveal his compassion and mercy.
When Jeremiah looked in the rearview mirror he saw his traumatic experiences laced in God’s faithfulness and it brought him hope. It will do the same for us.
“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “ Lamentations 3:21-23
One way to follow Jeremiah’s lead is to record your prayers.
I have the notebook from a very trying time in my life.
When I read its words, I sense the emotion of my heart in that season.
My bitter memories quickly turn to joy when I think about how God sustained me, filled me with peace and brought me through a difficult experience.
God gave us memories and since Genesis, he has declared that everything he gives is good. Let’s learn to honor him by uncovering some good memories and declare the works of the Lord!
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