Ever said this? I bet you have. There’s something that’s happened to you that you wish you could wipe from your memory forever. You wish it would never pop up when you hear that song. Or visit that restaurant. Or smell that smell or see that movie. You wish you could go back to the time before it ever happened because the reminder is so deeply painful.
I was recently meeting with someone who had been deeply sinned against. He had been hurt by someone else, and he made the statement, “I just wish I could forget that this ever happened.”
Maybe you’ve said something like that.
You wish you could forget
- that relationship
- what she did to you
- how he treated you.
- when your dad left.
- when you failed at ___.
- when you quit ______.
- the pain of divorce.
- when you started your addiction.
- when he hit you.
- when you got fired.
- when you had to ask my kids to forgive me.
- the time he sinned against you.
- the time he sinned against you again.
- the time he sinned against you again and again.
It would be easier to just forget this pain, wouldn’t it?
But remembering the pain of someone hurting you allows you to love them in a way you couldn’t otherwise. It gives you the chance to offer grace where it is not deserved. Forgiveness where it hasn’t been earned. And it encourages you to seek God in a way you wouldn’t otherwise, being forced to lean on Him for support in a fuller way than you may have without the pain.
God doesn’t let us fully forget. Because by leaning more fully on God, and offering more grace, love, and forgiveness, we become more like Jesus.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. – the Apostle Paul, Romans 8:28-29