Thursday, March 1, 2012

In My Memory, But Not In My Heart

There is an old adage that "Time heals all wounds", but I believe that a better, more accurately adage would be, "God heals all wounds".  I have experienced that time heals, or eases, all scars from the wounds.

I am pondering this morning how the process of time has lessened the pain of the many years of living in the world of sin since I have been healed by the saving blood of Jesus Christ.  I can remember how, in the beginning of my walk with Him, the pain was so intense that I could hardly control my remorse. Facing the despicable in the pure light of righteousness was overwhelming for me, and it took years to come to a place of no longer identifying with that despicable person?

During these twenty-seven years of being a born again believer I have been taught to leave the old person, put on the new person, and to forget that which I have left behind.  These were Paul's direct instructions to the Philippians in chapter 3, verse 13, " thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,".  But how does one forget thirty-seven years of one's life? And, due to the constant upheavals and destruction and pain, how does one forget such memorable years?

In the words of a very famous person I guess I have come to the conclusion that it is all in how you interpret the word "forget".  I will never, and I cannot forget what my past behavior was.  Nor do I believe that God would have me to forget.  Rather, I believe His instructions to me have been very clear that I am to move forward in His ways and by His Word, Jesus being my example of my goal and for "the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ". Phil. 3:14.  And all the while He reminds me to never forget what He has saved me from, and I believe that is for two reasons.  Number one is that it keeps me humble, knowing that without Him I am less than nothing.  Number two is for having a reference point to help others who I see walking on the same path that I walked at one time.  God has used me over the years to relate to people in need. 

After so many years of walking in the midst of other Christians, living in a world away from most of the temptations of life, and now being of retirement age when most people settle down and live the quiet life I no longer fit the stereotype of one you would search out if you are living in a world of sin and need to find a person who understands. When I meet with those who have stories similar to mine and that have not yet discovered the victory that Christ provides it is exciting for me to see the looks of astonishment on faces, and then see the understanding of what Christ can do for them.  Christ changes people.  I am not the same person that I was, and I don't look like the same person. My countenance is different.  She doesn't exist anymore, but I will never forget so that I can show the way.

I do not mean to say that I have arrived.  I have a long way to go yet, and I am learning and growing every day.  But I am so completely a different being that I think I could easily be mistaken for one who has always been in church, so to speak, without experiences of the world.  Oh, how I envy those Christians sometimes.  But, I have a different job than they do, and I am called to share what I can to help the lost.