by: Carole L. Haines
We were able to tack on a two-day excursion to the end of a successful business trip for Bruce in Colorado. We couldn’t go north or west because of wildfires in the region, so we decided to go South. Yesterday was incredible. Such incredible beauty around every corner, along every mile. I can close my eyes and see the beauty of Echo Ampitheatre, NM. I can call to mind right now the amazing deserts, canyons, Buttes, forests and grasslands. New Mexico is absolutely stunning. This is because I memorize places. I gaze upon them in silence until I can see them every time I close my eyes. I can picture them anytime I want to call them to mind. I have done this for Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Hurricane Ridge, Chincoteague Island and more. I call the memories to mind and can still see their beauty now, years later.
Do I memorize Jesus that way? His faithfulness, His character, His kindness? Do I fix my eyes upon Jesus and gaze long into His beautiful character, faithfulness and love? Have I sat and gazed at Him through the truth of Scripture, so that I can call to mind who He is every time I want to? I am certainly learning to do this but want to grow deeper into this practice. If memorizing nature in my mind is so important to me, than memorizing Jesus there is a treasure beyond worth. I think one of the greatest ways this happens for me is through thankfulness. Luke’s Gospel relates the story of the cleansing of ten lepers.
“While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine, where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”
Am I like the one leper, who was healed and ran back to praise and thank Jesus? Or am I like the other nine who took His healing for granted and did not return to say, “Thank You?” I can be both, but I am learning to thank Him more and more for all the little blessings He sends my way, including this two-day trip through New Mexico and Colorado. This thankfulness burns the memory of His goodness into my mind and breeds more thankfulness, more awareness of His goodness to me all the time. Memorizing Jesus is so important, memorizing His work in our everyday lives and thanking Him for it. In developing an ever-increasing thankful heart, we recognize God’s many kindnesses, His faithfulness and goodness throughout our lives. We can then share this with others who may wonder about a relationship with their own creator, and the God who loves them too.