Dream word – JEWELS
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” NKJV
“I don’t know what it is?”said the neurologist as he examined the MRI of my brain. “It’s not a tumour, and it’s not MS but you do have increased white matter in the left hemisphere. Have you ever had a stroke?”
“Not that I remember,”says I! This neurologist didn’t fill me with confidence, I can tell you! As a former fault-finding technician, you just know when folks haven’t got a clue, yes, you know when folks are just “poking and hoping”.
“Well, come back in three months time and we shall take another look, meanwhile, let’s get some fluid from your spine and look for some more indicators.”I didn’t go back. No, it was another neurologist that without even looking at any MRI results asked me, “When you were boxing and when you’re coaching, were you ever hit so hard that you saw stars?”
“Many times!”says I.
“Well that accounts for the white matter,”says he, “It’s just a bit of brain damage.”
“Just a bit of brain damage!” Good grief Charlie Brown! Now you can have just a bit of a tummy ache, you can fall and scrape your knee and have just a bit of a cut, but I’m sorry, how on top side of God’s good earth, can anyone say to you with a smile, “Oh don’t worry about that, it’s just a bit of brain damage!”
The moral of this little episode is quite simple. Don’t get punched in the head! The memory of this little episode however, is something quite, quite different. You see, I’m getting older, life is getting busier, the ball juggling and plate spinning seems to be on the increase, and my memory is not what it should be, it certainly is not what it was. Maybe it’s just a bit of brain damage that’s the problem?! Ha!
I am fascinated by the function of memory, both factual and emotional memory. One very small aspect of this most magnificent capacity to store and retrieve both factual and emotional information is the ability of comparison. “My,” we say, “he’s put on a lot of weight since the last time I saw him!” You see, comparison! Indeed, almost every decision we make is based on memorial comparison. In this one little aspect then, memory is so very important to both who we are and the directions in which we shall go, and I suppose then, that memory is eternally important!
The problem with memory is that it stores every bit of experiential information about ourselves and others, and in a fallen world, that means it stores all the facts and feelings of our sins, both those we have initiated, and those sins of others in which we have participated. Indeed, every sin of thought and action, every sin of commission and omission is stored in our memory. The coming of the light of God in the face of Christ Jesus has brought repentance, remorse, maybe even some acts of restitution and please God, some gracious relief to us but what about the memories of those often atrocious acts? Ah well, the memories are still there, lodged in us, lodging with us, like some scabby, unwelcome and unwanted guests. Maybe this side of heaven, God’s work in us will be deep enough to remove the power of these memories over us, if not their presence within us? I think so. I hope so. We all want it so, do we not?
Like it or not, our memorial experience shapes us, it helps make us. So our memories, both good and evil, are also part of our story, and I think maybe, part of our eternal story as well. Did you hear that? Part of our eternal story as well! Now if I am correct, shall we then carry these memories of both good and evil, forever with us and if that is the case, how in heaven, along with Jesus and all the rejoicing saints, shall the memories of past hurts, past failures, past sins, still find a lodging place in our being? It sounds grotesque doesn’t it? Yet nevertheless, I think they must, for if they do not remain with us, surely we shall lose such a part of our shaping story, that we shall cease to be who we truly are, cease to be our authentic selves even and so I ask you. “Shall God let this happen? Shall God ever allow plastic of any kind in heaven!?” I think not. I’ve read the book of Revelation friends and heaven is solid with God made materials. There is nothing plastic in heaven, absolutely nothing!
Spurgeon today, commenting on our text for tonight says, “We shall be unblameable and unreproveable even in His eyes. His law will not only have no charge against us, but it will be magnified in us. Moreover, the work of the Holy Spirit within us will be altogether complete. He will make us so perfectly holy, that we shall have no lingering tendency to sin. Judgment, memory, will—every power and passion shall be emancipated from the thraldom of evil.” How wonderful!
Our text for tonight is talking about positional and experiential faultlessness. I tell you the truth, if God does not deal with our memories, then I do not how this faultlessness can ever exist! For surely, part of hellishness is an eternal and continual remembrance of all our sins and shortcomings and so, would it not be hell in heaven to have brain damage healed only to then remember even more of one’s desperate shortcomings and sins? Of course it would!
I do not know how our great God will do it. I really don’t, but nevertheless, somehow, I believe that God will, no He must, make diamonds from our dirty coal still carried with us, and singing sapphires from all our sinly scars.
Memories must remain for us to maintain our stories, for us to be all we truly are. Yet this dark and transforming mystery of heaven shall change them all into such a glittering of golden dust, that they shall be forever and for always, to the eternal praise of His glory. I agree with Spurgeon tonight that, “Memory shall be emancipated from the thraldom of evil!” All our yesterdays shall be then present with us in heaven but dealt with. Present but forgiven, present but healed, present but released, present but transformed, powerful and glorious. God made miniscule diamonds, glittering in the magnitude of the heavenly diadem.
Now I tell you friends, that’s a miracle worth the waiting for!
Listen: “To God our Saviour, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” - Jude 24 NKJV
Pray: Lord, all my pains and all my scars, all my shame and hurts are in Your hands and in Your hands, they become less like scars and more like character. Amen to that Lord and amen again!
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