I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
Auld lang syne means, ‘times long ago’. Memory can be a 4-lane super highway, or it can be a dirt road hidden by the overgrowth off the beaten path. If you’re like me, you rarely dwell on the past, and when you do, it sends you into regression and depression. It’s because we often look into the pages of history to wonder how things could have been, instead of looking to wonder at how things were. ‘Times long ago’ drew the aging Apostle Paul OUT of the depths of despair and back into the heights of joy.
Paul expressed his joy when he looked over his life the same way you do when a blessing surprises you: thanksgiving. The surge you get from receiving a long-desired gift, and the sweetness you feel in a reunion of old friendships, and the solace of real hope for the future sum up the feelings behind every “thank you.”
On what did Paul reflect that thrilled him? He had a personal relationship with the Lord. He gloried in his spiritual tie to his Creator when he said, “My God.” To rest in the plan of the Almighty in every turn of your past life is a privilege reserved for those that call Him, “My God.” Every good memory starts where God began his good work in you.
Paul’s conscience was clear because he was free of regrets in his conversation. I have learned its not worth it to compromise. The bad memories of a failure in character; no matter how temporary, nor how small, can lead to suicidal frustration. A tempered response and solid beliefs coupled with the courage to stand up and speak up allowed Paul to have no fret over failure in “every remembrance” of dealings with the Philippians.
Paul also shared reciprocal friendships with the believers he met. Paul was not a sight-seer, he was a soul-seer. His focus was, “of you.” He did not struggle to recall the names and faces of those that had touched his life. Paul didn’t waste time in any of his letters reviewing the architecture or scenery that he had observed, but you will find his accounts of those who had helped him very detailed and heart-felt. Shew Paul a portrait of the Acropolis and it’s meaningless; mention the name of Barnabas, or Epaphroditus, or Titus, or Herodion, and feel the grateful tide of memories flood over old Paul.
Many sorrows are tied to places I have been. But many more are the delights from the people that have walked alongside me. You know who you are, and truly, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Paul’s reassurance to the Philippians was this: Those memories which made him so thankful were the pattern for confidence in the future. Friend, if these days bring you more doldrums than delights, seek the relationship with Christ Jesus that empowers you to live without regrets, and invites you into a fellowship of sinners saved by grace who will help you make the best memories yet!