Take the ones you love
And hold them close because there is little time
And don’t let it break your heart
I know it feels hopeless sometimes
But they’re never really gone
As long as there’s a memory in your mind
“Hold On to Memories” – Song by Disturbed
Lighthouses were built to last. They were made to withstand the fiercest of storms. With the help of dedicated maintenance crews, many centuries-old lighthouses are still standing, but many have also succumbed to neglect and the inevitable calamities of nature such as erosions, earthquakes, and fires. But even so, their beauty can still be appreciated in photographs and/or paintings and the life-saving stories that made them famous can be relived through publications.
Memories! Memories are what keep not only the images but also the emotions of the things we care for alive long after they are gone. Sure, there may be memories of things we rather forget that pop up once in a while, but if we have truly repented/forgiven, accepted, and moved on, they shouldn’t hold us captive to feelings of guilt and/or regret. We must learn to focus more on the memories of things that put a smile on our face and perhaps even a couple of tears of joy and gratitude. God has allowed you and me to live and breathe up until this very moment. And wouldn’t you agree that His goodness and mercies have far exceeded the trials in our lives? If so, we can both echo David’s proclamation in Psalm 21.
“Surely you have granted [me] unending blessings and made [me] glad with the joy of your presence.”Psalm 21:6 NIV
Better designed and even exact replicas of lighthouses have replaced those that once stood as beacons of hope and safety. Take the Cape St.George Lighthouse for example. After succumbing to erosion and collapsing into the sea, it was rebuilt to its original splendor at a nearby location.
Nothing or no one can ever replace the people and things that have been a loving part of our lives and are no longer present. But God has gifted us with something that will keep them close to our hearts for as long as we live and are cognitive, namely our memory. Among the many things to thank God for, do you thank Him for your mind? The mind is one of the most intricate parts of the human body [Read Fearfully and Wonderfully Designed]. It would behoove us to take care of it by eating right, getting enough rest, reading and meditating on God’s word, taking time to quietly enjoy nature, and by frequently reminiscing on the good ole days.
Granted, as we get older, not only do we start losing our hair, teeth, and skin elasticity [Read “Of Youth And Longevity”], but we also tend to lose our memory (short-term/long-term). Heck, I’ve even forgotten where I was going with a couple of thoughts while writing this devotion!
However, most of us will have no trouble remembering some of the fun times growing up (without today’s technology). Things like, jumping on puddles, our first love/set of wheels, and the birth of our first or only child are among the many things that have not only helped shape us into who we are today but whose memories have also become gemstones that effectively soothe mental stresses. And how about the memories of God’s faithfulness? We must acknowledge that without His past providence we certainly wouldn’t have been able to make it this far!
Nothing in this world lasts forever. Every day we welcome becomes a memory in a matter of seconds. Therefore, we should learn to appreciate every minute we are given. And while there are many hurtful memories we need to learn to let go, there are also wonderful ones that we must hold on to dearly. However, in order to hold on to good memories we need to willingly and intentionally make them. No matter the cost! Life is short, let us spend more time living than existing.
Listen to the song below in its entirety. I believe it has a message that we all need to be reminded of regularly.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the life you have given me. In spite of the challenges and difficult times, you have been and remain faithful. Thank you for the good times and the bad times. May my mistakes and unforeseen trials serve as life lessons to make me stronger. I also ask that you guard my mind so that I can cherish and hold on to the memories of the people and things that have brought joy and peace into my life. But most of all, may I never forget the grace (unmerited favors) you have bestowed upon me. Amen!
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” – Proverbs 10:7 ESV
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8 ESV
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” – Psalm 103:27 NLT