|Posted on April 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM|
Today I was sitting in the waiting room of my physical therapist's office. I glanced down and noticed a Gideon's Bible on the table beside me. It was placed there in memory of someone.
That word "memory" seemed to jump right off the cover at me. Memories have bittersweet effects on me. Most often, my memories make me sad. Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful family and a very blessed life. I think that's the problem. When I think back over the things that once were, I began to get caught up in the fact that they are gone, never again to be re-lived.
That saddens me.
I thought today about my childhood and how much I would love to take my kids back a few years so they could see what it was like to live simply; surrounded by intriguing and amazing family members who have since passed on. But I can't.
I thought about how it was when my husband and I purchased our first home and my parents and grandparents all pitched in to help us with appliances and household items. Moving in was definitely a family affair and I loved every single minute of it! The first time we made homemade ice cream at that house with my grandmother there to guide me through the recipe. Boy, did it taste good too! Those days are gone.
I remembered the Sunday afternoons at my parents house watching the NASCAR race and screaming at the drivers through the television as if they could actually hear us. We drank coffee cup after cup and ate leftovers from dinner long into the evening. Sure would love to experience that again.
I reminisced about our dream house that we couldn't keep because of medical bills. I thought we would retire and have visits from our grandchildren there. But, we won't.
I thought about when I felt good every day and was able to work, and play with my kids, and go anywhere at any time. But, that has changed too because of my declining health.
So, you can see why the word "memory" sometimes makes me sad. It probably does you also.
After contemplating what "memories" really are, it hit me that they are actually knowledge of the past. Both the good and the not-so-good.
The Christian life centers around knowledge. Not just head-knowledge, but heart- knowledge. I think it's the heart-knowledge that effects us more deeply.
When something or someone touches our heart, we are open to pain. But, that also means we are open to joy, and love and fulfillment, and life! You can't have the good stuff without the bad stuff. You can't experience loss without love or life without death. It all goes together.
So, today, if you are hurting, look at it as a sign that you are still breathing. You are still living and you are still in position to receive the love and fulfillment and joy that life has to offer us all. The best part is that if you are in Christ and He is in you, then those good times will be even better and those bad times will be tolerable growing seasons.
Knowledge is good. Memories are good. Allow your heart to be vulnerable. By doing so, you can experience the fullness of life that only a tender heart full of knowledge can perceive.
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. " (2 Peter 3:18)
"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But, endurance must also do it's complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)
Thank You Lord for my completeness which can only be found in You. Not in circumstances, or things, or people that I love, but in YOU ALONE. You are the one constant that will never change or cease to exist. Increase my heart-knowledge and my head-knowledge of You so I can serve You better each and every day, no matter what happens or doesn't happen. In Jesus' Name, Amen.