On Tuesday Pastor Sam from Bethlehem blogged this:
“The next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind yourself of his future.”
—Anonymous clipping I found this past week in a file while looking for something else
I enjoyed that. It was helpful.
That evening I began a project to rid our home of some of the clutter. My task was going through old file folders filled with paper we hadn’t looked at for years.
Some of it was encouraging, like an old article by Dr. Michael Beates I’m going to scan and post here someday. Some was embarrassing, like seeing myself quoted in an article from Parent Magazine in 1997. And some was troubling, like an article I kept for some unknown reason that completely denied the sovereignty of God over hard things like disability. I don’t like remembering that part of my history.
And then there were the medical bills.
Our youngest son was born prematurely in 2003 and spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. I held four pieces of paper that totaled more then $80,000 in bills, and that wasn’t all of the expense associated with his early days. After the insurance coverage, the remainder was still more than we could afford. Yet all of them were paid. I can’t even remember how.
I found an old medical report from Paul’s geneticist. The sterile language that described him and the cause of his disabilities was crushing at the time (and ultimately it was still just a guess on her part). Yet today I hardly recognize the boy she described – she saw so little of who he really is.
Pastor Sam’s quote is helpful. I know Satan uses my memories against me; I can’t deny I did those things or thought those thoughts.
Because of Jesus, there is more to the story:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
And it is kind of God to use a stack of old papers to remind me how much he has already brought me through, along with the sure knowledge that everything he has promised for my future, he will do:
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.”
Isaiah 46:8-11 ESV