I’m a sucker for any list that harkens back the nostalgia of my youth. Earlier this week I couldn’t help but click on a link touting 21 Amazing Action-Figure Playsets From Your Childhood. As I scrolled through all 21 playsets, I remembered either owning them or desperately wanting them.
That’s not the only list that fully captures my attention. Early last decade VH1 captured my attention for hours at a time with its series I Love the 80s and I Love the 90s. Even though I had lived through the better part of both of those decades, I loved remembering all the pop culture trends and news stories.
We enjoy remembering and we enjoy nostalgia. I love hanging out with my oldest friends and thinking about years gone by. There are so many great stories and memories that I could literally spend hours talking with friends about them, especially when thinking about ministry.
Remembering isn’t just good for our friendships; it’s also good for our souls.
In Psalm 77, the psalmist is found doubting God’s goodness. The psalmist wonders if God is ever going to show up or if God has forgotten his people. The psalmist then pens these amazing verses.
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
When the psalmist doubted whether or not God would show up, instead of wallowing in his doubt, he actively chose to remember. Instead of focusing on his current circumstances, he chose to consider all the ways that God had been good in the past.
We’re all too ready to think about our childhood toys and good memories from growing up. I’ve got so many memories and inside jokes with my friends that almost anything could trigger one of them. Once triggered, I spend the next few moments thinking about that memory, smiling at the thought of it.
However, I don’t nearly remember God’s goodness as regularly. Even though there are just as many triggers to remember God’s goodness and consider what he’s done, my mind doesn’t often go there. Even when I’m experiencing seasons of doubt or difficulty, I still find that I don’t really remember God’s goodness.
Remembering what God has done for us is far more beneficial than reflecting on the toys we used to play with. Thinking about our toys might bring a smile to our faces, but remembering what God has done can push us to persevere even when we feel like giving up. Remembering what God has done can allow us to worship him even when everything is falling apart. Remembering what God has done can help us draw near to him even when all we want to do is run away.
It’s easy to come up with a list of 21 cartoons we enjoyed watching as a kid. It should be even easier, though, to come up with 21 ways that God has been good to us. Remembering how God has been good to us in the past, will help us me more faithful today and as we press on into the future.
What helps you remember God’s goodness?