A Wisdom Retreat - September 21

Down Memory Lane

1 Chronicles 16:11-12
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done; His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.

Some of you had the privilege of living in one house throughout your entire childhood. It is a rare occasion these days, but I was fortunate enough to have lived in the same home for 18 years before I went to college.

During my freshman year, my parents moved. They were kind enough to send me their new address!

A few years ago I decided to take a trip down memory lane and see that old house where I had grown up. I climbed the steps to that familiar porch and knocked on the door, hoping that whoever lived there would let me revisit the rooms freighted with meaning and memories.

A young woman carrying a baby on her hip answered the door. I said, "I know this is going to sound strange, but I grew up in this house. I lived here 25 years ago and I'd love to walk through it again." She said, "Cool! C'mon in," and I did.

I walked into the living room with my shoes on. That was a no-no when I was growing up, and I half expected to hear my mother's reminder coming from the kitchen for me to leave my dirty shoes at the door!

I turned right and made my way into the dining room. I noticed the drop ceiling that my father had hung many years before was still in place.

From there I moved into the kitchen and peered through the familiar side door that overlooked the back yard. I noticed that the infamous bush was gone: that bush had supplied my mother with an ample amount of switches for four mischievous sons. The bush was gone. God had answered my prayers at last—decades later!

I finally made my way upstairs to my little bedroom. This was by far the most endearing place of all. To my left was open floor space, long ago occupied by my bed. That was where I had knelt one night as a teenager and gave my heart and my life—without reservation—to Jesus Christ. That was the place where it all started for me—it was the place where my spiritual life began.

There's something special about taking trips down memory lane, isn't there? Whether it's visiting an old home or catching up with a friend you haven't seen in years. It seems that as soon as you step through the door or see the face of that loved one, things just pick up right where they left off. Memories have a way of flooding back as old times are relived through laughter and tears.

Have you found the same to be true in your relationship with God? One of my professors in college once said to me that the Christian life isn't so much about learning new things about God as it is remembering the old things. God has done so much for us in the past and, like that old hymn so beautifully confirms, "He's proved His love o'er and o'er."

Our problem is that we often forget what God has done. As days turn to months and months to years, bringing new trials and new challenges, we forget to retrace our steps of faith and remember how God provided in every circumstance.

We're so focused on the present that we forget to visit the past.

Perhaps you need to reminisce today . . . to ponder the events where God was with you and brought you safely through the troubled waters to the other side.

Maybe you need to travel back in your mind to that bedside, or dorm room, or church service where you gave your life—without reservation—to Jesus Christ.

When your future seems dark and discouraging, perhaps the best muscle to exercise is your memory. Do what David urged the Israelites to do in 1 Chronicles 16 . . . take a trip down memory lane!

Prayer Point: Take some time to write down specific instances where God has proven Himself to you in a powerful way. Then praise Him for His unfailing love which stays with us even when we forget it's there.

Extra Refreshment: 1 Chronicles 16, recounting where David pleads with the Israelites to remember God's character and covenant promises. Israel needed reminding as much as we do.

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Christianity / Devotionals / A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey / A Wisdom Retreat - September 21