Old pictures, talking to a childhood friend, familiar recipes and smells?
The mind is incredible in how it creates and stores memories.
Walking through a crowded street in New York, the aroma of a familiar perfume halted me in my tracks. Instantly I was transported back in time about 13 years….
My mentor some years ago was an exceptional woman. She had the gentleness of a saint. Her years of navigating many hardships resulted in beautiful wisdom. Now a whiff of her rare perfume instantly brought to mind images seared in my long-term memory.
I recalled many times of praying together with this sweet friend. My heart simultaneously felt homesick for her company and grateful for her influence on my life.
Remembering is an act of thanksgiving.
How important is it to make space in our lives to remember?
The word “remember” is found throughout scripture. Sometimes God remembers. Sometimes we are commanded to remember.
In Psalm 77 Asaph speaks of his struggle with fear. Through the discipline of active recall, he reminded his soul that God is powerful and faithful.
“I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.” Psalm 77:11
Not every memory is positive, but we can train our hearts to look for the hand of the Almighty even in the midst of suffering.
How do I remember what God has done in my life?
The old leather journal I keep is a source of encouragement for my soul. It directs me to remember. It helps me place things in perspective in my mind.
That season of mourning did not last forever.
That painful injury took time to heal, but it taught me more in character than if it had never happened.
That miracle God performed could not have just occurred by coincidence.
I choose to pull out my journal when I am tempted to despair. It is my record of the faithfulness of God in my life.
It reminds me.
Giving God thanks spills over my heart and anchors my soul in truth.