Our histories are a very important piece of our stories. Where we came from, experiences that happened that have shaped our lives, what our families were like, times of success as well as times of failure, all these things are important pieces of who we are and how we view the world. The past has a way of impacting the present and if we are not mindful of that fact or simply choose to ignore it, it will catch up with us sooner or later. Our pasts certainly don’t have to define us, but we must take a look at them and learn what we can from them. That may mean talking with someone that can help in the healing process. To me, looking back is a crucial piece of becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ and can often be overlooked. The Bible is clear that once we become Christ followers, we become new people on the inside (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), but if we don’t do the work of untangling our pasts, we are often doomed to repeat it.
Psalm 78 is a picture of the importance of remembering your past. Asaph takes the reader (or listener as the psalms were often used as songs) through Israel’s past with God, highlighting their times of devotion as well as their times of disobedience. He wanted the people to remember God’s faithfulness to them throughout it all. Without reminders like this, it can be easy to forget how God has blessed us and come through for us in our times of need, even if it takes time to be able to see it.
I have an on again, off again relationship with journaling, but when I go back and read entries from my past that show God’s work in my life, I’m so glad that I took the time to write it down. I’ve also heard of people that have some sort of physical reminder displayed that helps them remember a time in their lives when God was a source of comfort and strength. Remembering can be such a powerful tool and source of encouragement for today. What are some things that you can do to help you remember God’s faithfulness?
Executive Director of Education and Outreach