I have noticed a phenomenon of life. When times are good, it’s hard to remember the lessons learned in the bad times. When times are bad, it’s hard to remember the blessings of the good. Both seem like another life.
The problem is that it is so important to remember both the lessons and the blessings. They are all part of our growth. They are part of what God uses to work us through the next batch of good and bad times, making us more like Christ with each progressive step.
Doug and I have several songs mixed into our iTunes playlists that have been especially poignant to us during certain times in our married life. Some of them are songs which have expressed our feelings of gratitude and praise more perfectly than we ever could have expressed them ourselves. Others have been a lifeline through the struggles, either giving us encouragement to cling to or a hope of what had to be just around the corner.
The beautiful thing about songs is that they appeal strongly to our senses – at least, they do to mine. Just hearing one of those songs returns me to those times when they so strongly communicated something specific to me.
It is not always a good thing to relive our past. Sometimes we need to move on, both from the good and from the bad. They are behind us. It is time to press on to what is ahead of us.
But, as we press on into our present, sometimes we put the lessons and blessings behind us as well as the experiences. And that we just cannot do. We are becoming more like Christ because of those lessons and blessings. We are being molded into who God created us to be. Without them, we stay the same. Without them, we respond to each new situation with the same old immaturity and weak faith.
So we need reminders.
For me, those reminders very, very frequently come in the form of song. And thanks to the creation of digital music players, those songs frequently pop up in the music mix at home or in the car. As I listen to the songs, I remember where I was when they held such meaning for me. I am reminded of the precious lessons and blessings received during those times. And, I see even more clearly where I am now.
What is your reminder? It might be song. It could be a taste, sight, or smell. Or maybe a place, a possession, or even a person. Whatever it is, let it work through your heart and soul to remind you of your lessons and blessings. And may you grow in even more abundant strength with the memory.