I believe it was Augustine who wrote in his Confessions,
“Too late too late have I loved thee oh God…alas memory is indeed a sad privilege…our hearts oh God are restless till they find their rest in Thee.”
Today I was reminded of how good the Lord is and how faithful He is despite the fact that I have been so faithless at times. An old friend posted a remembrance of the day he was baptized.
His story is similar to mine and we had many shared experiences, I couldn’t help but look back to where I was when the Lord saved me, and what took place over the years, good and bad—happy and sad. As I let myself go back in my mind, I was alternately exultant and ashamed. Exultant as I recalled all the miracles and grace poured on my family. My heart swelled with gratitude. Ashamed as I recalled all the times I went back to Egypt…the old ways… the old sins and the self-pity.
Moses continually was forced to remind the people of both the Lord’s faithfulness and their own penchant for rebellion. From the fiery mountain and the tablets written by the very finger of God…to the elimination of an entire generation in the desert because of their repeated ‘turning back.’
Your Bible is filled with stories of this awful cycle…revival…forgiveness…backsliding and out and out rebellion …devastation and consequence…brokenness…turning again to God.
Jeremiah wrote not only the book that bears his name but also one called Lamentations. He witnessed the worst things that any prophet could imagine. He saw the siege of Jerusalem. He saw women eating their children. He saw the priests slaughtered. I feel it in my gut every time I read his recollection.
“The wormwood the gall and the bitterness…my soul continually thinks of it and is bowed deep down within me…”
If that was all he wrote, we would be right to be depressed. But he went on,
“But this one thing I call to mind…and thus I have hope… The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases. His mercies are new EVERY morning. Great is THY faithfulness Oh God…” (emphasis mine)
The Lord forgave and continues to forgive me. He healed and He continues to heal me. He has provided and continues to provide for me. His faithfulness is indeed the portion of every generation who seeks His face.
Today I will be with my wife, my children and my grandchildren. I could never have imagined I would enjoy the life I have. I am not done praising him for all He has done. As long as I have breath I will praise Him for all he has done for me.
This world is in great turmoil. Anxiety is poised at the door to rob of us of our joy. When I rose very early this morning I was reminded yet again. His mercies are new every morning including this one. To God be the glory great things He has done. If you are ‘continually thinking’ of the bitter things, and memory is for you a ‘sad privilege’, perhaps it is time ‘to call some things to mind’.