Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: REMEMBER (10/19/17)
TITLE: Blessed Assurance
By Elaine Hemingway
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The older I get the more memories there are. The more memories I resurrect the more I realise there have been many learning opportunities along the journey. The lessons were all there, waiting to be learned but I see that in many instances I was a slow learner. So often I missed the boat and it sailed without me because I was still too busy packing. What was I packing? Experiences that would only be recognised later as crucial steps in my ultimate development.
I walked a long and winding road, filled with pitfalls, while my Lord held me on strong elastic until He had caught my attention. The storms I encountered along the way varied from minor squalls to a massive one that made me re-evaluate. Modes of travel, just as in history, have varied. I think of crawling then the baby steps of infancy. Most of us develop quickly into more adventurous travels; the tricycle to the bicycle, or the go-cart to the motor car. Like the evolution of speed for our earthly travels, our limited life journeys also vary in speed and mode, with our search for wisdom and truth not always concomitant with the recognition of our needs. For myself, it took a long time for me to get past the learning curves of emotion and physical comfort to the awareness that there was also a spiritual plane that I had not fully explored.
Malachi 3:3 tells us that (God) will be like a refiner and purifier of silver … He will refine like gold and silver …
It isn’t a quick process but a long and potentially painful one ending in beauty, value and self-worth.
I am enjoying the journey of retrospection more than the original often painful progression, but I now have a bundle of treasures to carry with me.
1. There are many mistakes that could have been avoided if I had listened to my parents more closely and heeded their advice: "Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”(Exodus 20:12) I loved them, I listened, but I wondered, did they really know it all?
2. Was it because I waited until I was forty before reading the Bible properly for myself, or had I not listened when surely the verse was quoted? “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) I remember so well being asked, “Are you born again?” I was seeking and thought I had found, but I wasn’t even half-way! “I’m a Christian but not born again,” I replied haughtily, thinking I was being challenged by some cultist or other. I was an ‘established’ church goer – why had I not heard the message?
3. And what is it about love that confused me? I found that love is not an emotion. Neither is it a feeling that can be turned on or off like a mood such as anger. Love is a command, to be disobeyed at our peril. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:27.) But I had to learn some more; I said, “But, Lord …” and He showed me, “”You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy,’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
4. My memory takes me back to the habitual prayer we all know – Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Forgive? Forget? Not easy, but possible, and well worth the effort.
5. Because I can remember how far I have come I value the more how far the Lord has guided me, and how His Holy Spirit has taught me and opened up the Scriptures to me. How blessed I am in my memories and how great is my Hope for the future as I trust in Him who began a good work in me and will continue to the day of its completion. Not only in my life but in those I have entrusted to Him.
I have His assurance.
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