I heard this somewhere along the way…”don’t forget to remember”. It stuck. It’s one of those catchy little phrases that kind of make you snicker when you hear it, but it has become one of the sayings that I share quite often. Don’t forget to remember.
I was looking back through some of my journals recently. I have to admit, I’m only an occasional journal-er, but it seems every time I pull one of them out and take a look, I’m just blown away by what was happening in my life at the time. Like one I looked at yesterday. A friend had written me an email in response to a particularly difficult time I was going through. Among other things, she wrote this scripture to me, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4 Right after that she said, “your greatest strengths will come when you minister to others out of the grace and comfort you have received from the God of all comfort!
I don’t have the space to go into the reason she was writing this to me, but once again, the impact of it slapped me in the face! It wowed me back then and it wowed me yesterday. My greatest strengths will come when I minister to others out of the grace and comfort I’ve received from the God of all comfort. Wow. It is so true. I’ve experienced God’s touch in some mighty tough situations, sometimes after I had to get my attitude straightened away. It’s so easy to panic, freak out, get swamped with fears or anger or a myriad of other feelings when things don’t go the way we think they should. But, after reaching out to someone with a cry for help, or asking for prayer, or admitting to someone that I flunked a spiritual test (yet again), I’ve gained something important…strength. Why is it that failing can lead to strength in the spiritual realm? I think it’s because God never intended for us to carry things all by ourselves.
Oh yes, I’m quite good at stomping off through the woods of my life, feeling quite confident in my abilities to get me to where I’m trying to go. I can make things happen, thank you very much. The problem with this is that I don’t always know where I’m supposed to go. I’ve finally figured out that where I’m trying to go isn’t necessarily where God intended for me to go. And there is the hitch. I often get so busy planning my next strategic move, that I forget to consult with the Master trip-planner. My plans don’t often equal His plans. When I read my friends’ email, I suddenly realized (yet again) she nailed it…my greatest times of strength have come about when I was sharing out of my own life, my own trials, my own errors. Why? Because God comforted me during the dark days of those times.
It’s important to remember what God has done in your life. It’s important to keep some records of those times. If you don’t journal, I hope you’ll reconsider…I am. It may be time to dust off the journal once again, and start recording what God is doing in my daily life. Keep emails and notes and letters that have meaning to you. Get a binder and start collecting, especially if there is prophecy involved. This one, small sentence my friend wrote to me was prophetic for me. It has much more meaning to me today than it did the day I received it because now I can look back and remember what God did and how He comforted me. She comforted me that day out of her own experience with God’s comfort. I can also look back now and see where I’ve gained strength because I was willing to share with others out of my experience. What an encouragement. Don’t forget to remember!