Memories: Ouch!

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psalm 51:12

Autumn floods me with childhood memories of locusts inhabiting our farm and caterpillars on twigs, kept on mason jars, just waiting to become monarch butterflies.

And, with that flooding, often comes the tinged bittersweet feelings that accompany a childhood innocence of long ago.

I recently caught a funny post on the internet. It read: “Memories: Ouch!”

They say humor is humor because it is unflinching truth. And that certainly was the case with this post.

With all there is to recover from in life – death, loss, illness, abuse and addiction- perhaps, one of the most painful things is that of memories, being either the good or the bad kind.

It can be argued which one of those is the more painful to remember. “Bad” memories, like abuse, death and loss, are the understandably challenging memories to overcome.

But, perhaps, the more painful are the happy ones, the “good times.” For they represent the faint promise of life having an “all is well,” security blanket, comforting us with love, laughter and security. Therefore, it is usually during times when we perceive our lives to have those things lost or absent when these happiness memories are the rusted knife turning clockwise into souls. We can take on the attitude of Job:

My spirit is broken,
my days are cut short,
the grave awaits me.
Job 17:1

Trust me, Chapter 17 does not get much cheerier.

So, yes, often times, memories: ouch!

In this mindset, therefore, it’s a beacon of light to take solace in God’s restoration concerning our memories, such as they are.

He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3

“For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds,” saith the LORD… Jeremiah 30:17

Easier said than done, I know.

Nevertheless, God has a much bigger, restored version of our lives, of who we are…

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure… yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11

But as it is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

What are your memories? What are the painful ones? What are the haunting ones? What are the ones you do everything you can to suppress or escape from?

As the seasons change, how do you view your memories? How healed are you in conjunction of them?

Right now, this autumn, endeavor to view your memories for what they are: the locusts and transitioning caterpillars.

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm…” Joel 2:25

See these memories as flowing to a better end; God has promised it to you.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done,
and thy thoughts which are to us-ward:
they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee:
if I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered
. Psalm 40:5

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!
how great is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:17

And, as much as God knows His thoughts, how much more does He know ours?

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
thou understandest my thought afar off.
Psalm 139:2

God does – and will – heal. It’s already in motion.

And, even more than that, is His constant love…

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

Therefore, allow Him to heal you through that love now. Apply His Love to your memories.