Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Php 3: 13-14
I drove by the house where I raised my children today. What memories.
Here was pain and joy and fullness of life, times close to God and times astray. There were early morning devotionals at the kitchen table and late suppers with my kids asleep. We had great family times as well as times of tears. Time to look back and realize that God was there through it all, moving me and those I love toward His precious will.
Memories…what are they good for? Sometimes they bring great thoughts of joy and energize. Sometimes they leave us with a sense of loss for times that will never return. Sometimes as we remember, we feel a stab of despair from an intensely painful experience, pain that may or may not have diminished with the years.
Memories bring patients from my past, a few of whom were despicable characters, but most who were blessings to my life. When I think of them, I see God’s work in their healing or God’s succor as they rested in arms they knew could hold them well. I am a different and better person because of them.
I look back on failures and wonder, if only. I re-live great successes and wonder that God could have brought them my way.
Memories are not just days gone by. They are the bricks that have made us who we are. Some are beautiful colonial bricks without deformities and others are chipped and dark---but together they form the structure that God has built me into. If we are His, the structure of our lives is beautiful and suited for His purpose, no matter how an individual brick might appear when standing alone. If we focus on the dark bricks, we are paralyzed with fear. If we focus on the beautiful ones we are frozen in pride. When we focus on the structure as a whole, we see a temple for God.
Individually, memories can be helpful as directional markers for decision making in the future, making it worthwhile to look back and learn; but we should never look back and cling.
All of our past has been taken by our Creator and fashioned in the present into an arrow that He wishes to fire toward His target. Even the failures have become guiding feathers. So, I see the house that raised my kids and I both smile and cry. I also see the hand of God and focus all of my energy on His target ahead.
Only You can get me through this time of stress. Let me hand it to You and move forward in your power for Your glory.