Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Let Bygones be Remembered"

I read somewhere, "Let bygones be remembered." I thought that was funny because the old adage is, "Let bygones be bygones." I started thinking, what in the the world is a bygone that we should remember it or make it a bygone? I always assumed that a bygone had something to do with a bad memory or a bad event. So, I looked up the meaning of bygone in Websters Dictionary and it simply means, 'gone by' or 'past.'  Okay, so the question is: should we "Let the past be remembered" or "Let the past be the past."  Hmmmm...

I'm one for remembering the past. The past has helped me to see where my fears come from and how to go to the Lord for healing. The past has also helped me to see my mistakes and how to better myself. But the most important thing the past has done for me is to remember how God has rescued me. I have stories upon stories where the Lord came in like a superhero and saved me. How He has touched my heart and brought me hope. How He has taught me and how He has blessed me- I want to remember it all.

I guess I've always been this way. I am the youngest of seven children and I grew up watching my older siblings enjoying life and making mistakes. I kind of wrote their victories and failures all down in my mind thinking that I need to learn something from all their experiences. And as I grew older I did make many decisions for my own life based on what I saw my siblings do.

But I will say that the neat thing is when I first started reading the Bible I learned very quickly that God wants us to remember. He calls us over and over and over to remember. Isn't that wild?
God wants us to remember.
Remember what?
Remember His goodness.
One example is when God tells the Israelites to remember how He saved them from the Angel of Death.
How God led Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm." (Deuteronomy 5:15)
Remember how God parted the Red Sea.
Remember how God brought them into the Promised Land.
But why remember? They needed to remember because God knew that hard times would come and they, in their human frailty, would question the goodness of God. Even to question God's ability to save them or protect them from their enemies. And what is soooo neat to me is that the Jewish people, to this very day, celebrate Passover to REMEMBER all that God has done for them.

(Note: Know that God doesn't tell them to remember the horrible time they had as slaves. He doesn't tell them to sit around remembering with their pals and talking about all the things that went wrong for them by complaining, griping, and feeling sorry for themselves. That is not what remembering the past is good for. God knows all that we have been through. He knows our pain. What He wants us to do is to remember how we were rescued from it all. He wants us to give thanks for how He turned all that mess into good.  And I gotta say, If you've not been rescued from it yet, then it's time to be. I'm not trying to sound harsh, but it's so hard listening to people talk about the past, with all it's horrible details, emotions, anger, and frustration, as if the event happened yesterday, (but in reality it was three to ten years ago) and not changing from it. God really does have more for us. He says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10).  It's time to humble yourself and ask Him to set you free. It's time to be willing to make some changes. It's time to forgive those that hurt you whether it was yesterday or years ago. It's time to stop saying, "But this is how I am." It's time to allow God to be Lord over your personality. It's time to allow God to be Lord over your whole life. It's time to walk away from the past and allow God to be the judge. It's time to see how God can change a horrible event in the past into something wonderful).

As a Christian we are to remember the Passover too. What is known to Christians as 'The Last Supper' was the celebration of the Passover. Jesus and His apostles were celebrating the Passover meal together on Jesus' last night on this earth. It is here where Jesus reveals to His apostles, Jewish men, that He himself was the fulfillment of the Passover. He was going to be and has become the perfect lamb sacrificed for us to save us from the 'Angel of Death.' And Jesus specifically says,
"This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
 Luke 22:19.
Christians all around the world take time to remember the Passover every Sunday. Take time to remember that Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world during Communion. That is something that you don't ever want to forget. Something we need to know and remember.

Seriously, what good is it if we go through this life forgetting all that God has done for us?
How can our faith grow?
For me, I face every new trial in my life on the shoulders of my past trial's victory or failure. I remember how God saved me and I try and apply what I've learned to my new trial. For example: I'll say to myself, "Well, if God can heal my heart from the cutting words from my own family then He can certainly heal my heart from the unkind words of a friend. It gives me hope that my heart will heal. It gives me hope that I will be restored. Or I think about the time in my life when I was homeless and God provided in such a way that I never spent one single night on the streets. Through that, I have the faith to believe that God will provide for my family of eight.  I remember when I had a pillowcase tied around my neck and was suffocating, about to die and then I was able to breath freely again and so now my health/life is in His hands. I fear not the future of my body. I am taking care of my body, and I do not fear death.

I have seen over and over again the goodness, nay, the greatness of our God and I chose... to remember.

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