In the I Can Only Imagine movie, the leader singer of MercyMe, Bart Millard shares the journey which inspired the famous song. Bart's past became a defining and controlling factor in his life. In order to become spiritually healthy, he had to recall the past: his mother’s absence, his father’s abuse, and his own leaving. On some level, we can all resonate with Bart’s past and hurts.
Maybe your mother never left you; maybe your father never abused you verbally or physically; maybe you didn’t run away from home at first chance you had. But Bart’s past is our past, because we all come from broken homes, live in a broken world, and bear the wounds of our own mistakes and the wrongs committed against us by others.
Why can’t we just forget about the past and move forward?
God has hardwired us to be a remembering people. In fact, memory of the past is central to biblical faith—the Scriptures are full of commandments to remember all that God has done for us. To deny our own past is to put a lid on what God can do to bring about redemption and renewal in us. Spiritual growth requires a healthy recalling of our own past.
The biblical encouragements to “remember” most often call us back, not to our own individual pasts, but to the past provision of God in history. Psalm 105 is a perfect example: The psalmist calls us to remember God’s promises to Abraham, his saving work in the Passover and Exodus, and in leading his people through the wilderness. Remembering these things, according to Psalm 105’s conclusion, enables us to live rightly before God and others.
One of the best ways to discover God is to look to the earthly life and work of his own Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Son of God, best reveals God, his eternal Father. Do you believe that God Himself loves you because you have believed in his Son?
In the words of Jesus' beloved disciple, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love” (1 John 4:16).
Perhaps you have never experienced love and acceptance from your father or mother. Perhaps you wonder if there’s anyone who loves you unconditionally and accepts you just as you are. Perhaps this is God’s invitation to you to discover, through the life of Jesus in the Gospels, just how deeply the Father loves you.