“But call to remembrance the former days. . .”
We should never dwell there; however, we should neither forget what happened there.
They’re a part of us. Of all created beings, we humans alone are the only ones who can intentionally remember someone or something from the past—often in living color. Although it would appear animals have some capacity for memory. . .like the salmon swimming upstream to the place of their birth to lay their eggs before dying. . .or the swallows returning to Capistrano each year on the same day. . .or a long-lost pet suddenly reappearing back home after several days or weeks of being lost. . .it’s likely theirs is mostly instinctive or some type of internal “homing device” or scent recognition.
Be that as it may, again, we humans are God’s crowning act of creation.
And, He has instilled within us the capacity to mentally record in our mind’s hard-drive people and places from the past. Sometimes we can almost relive them, complete with the sights, sounds and smells in vivid detail.
Now, sometimes this isn’t so good—especially when those memories are quite painful.
Like “thieves in the night” they rise up, robbing us of our sleep. Sometimes they torment and taunt us, crying “Where is your God?!?” (Ps. 42:3-6, 10).
Or, there are times our memories become mental “memorials”. . .almost intellectual idols. . . whereby we romanticize them and continually think fondly of “the good old days”. . .forgetting the trials and pains we endured while going through them.
But, today’s Manna is not a call to “remember the former days” so we can escape from our present problems; neither is it a call to look back like Lot’s wife (Gen. 19:26)—for such can soon become a stumbling-block and make us unfit for God’s Kingdom Work (Lk. 9:62; Heb. 11:15).
No, today’s Manna is a call to remember “when you were first illuminated” (v.32b)—i.e., that day when Jesus reached down and touched you. It’s also a call to remember those tough days when “you endured a great fight of afflictions. . .were made an object of ridicule by others’ reproaches and afflictions. . .and felt so all alone in the fight of faith” (v.32c-33).
Who was it that sustained you during those difficult days? Who was it that gave you “Grace sufficient and taught you His strength is made perfect in your weakness” (II Cor. 12:9-10)?
Why, it was the Lord Jesus Himself, wasn’t it?
That’s why it’s important for us to stop and remember from time-to-time what great things God has done for us. How He reached down and “plucked us from the miry clay, set our feet on a Rock and put a new song of praise in our mouth” (Ps. 40:1-3). How He “began a good work in you and is continuing to perform it even now” (Phil. 1:6). Why not pause right now, dear Pilgrim, and quietly sing “Count your blessings, Name them one by one. And, it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Hallelujah! Amen and amen!!
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 13, 2011