A Blast From the Past


James Merritt shares what to do in order to have a new beginning. Before you can look to the future, and even live in the present, you must learn from the past.

I heard about this man who was retired and in the morning the first thing he would do was read the obituary column to find out who had died. Well, one particular morning he read that column and the newspaper by mistake listed his name and reported he was dead. He was not only shaken, he was irate. He called the editor of the newspaper and fussed him out.  Finally the editor said, “I’ll tell you what we’ll do. In the morning we’ll put your name in the birth column and give you a brand new beginning.” 

Believe it or not, you can have a new beginning in your life more often than you think. A new beginning requires three simple, but different, looks. First of all, it requires a look back to see where you’ve been; it then requires a look around to see where you are; then it requires a look ahead to see where you need to go. You can’t really get to where you need to go until you know where you are. But you really cannot know where you are until you know where you’ve been. 

The nation of Israel was less than a two-week journey from the promise land. They had been wandering in the wilderness for forty years, and they were now poised to cross the Jordan, conquer Canaan, and claim a new beginning. But before they did, Moses gives them “a blast from the past.” He asked them to open the vault of their memory, and remember what the Lord had done for them. Then they could rejoice in what He was doing for them, and receive what He would do for them.

Your memory is a very powerful tool. Your memory is capable of containing 100 bits of information, or 500 times the information contained in a complete set of encyclopedias. Your brain has 100 billion neurons, and 100 trillion connections for those memories, 46 ounces of memories in all, and that’s if you’re average. There is a reason why God has given us this magnificent tool called a memory. The way to know that you can trust what God is doing today, and what God will do tomorrow, is to remember what God has done yesterday. Before you can look to the future, and even live in the present, you must learn from the past. 

We need to do what Moses told the nation of Israel to do before they entered into the promise land. Take a look back!

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