Friday, December 28, 2012

Moving Through the Pain on the Journey of Forgiveness

An Excerpt from Rooted In God's Love
by Dale and Juanita Ryan

The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. "
1 Corinthians 11:24

People in the recovery process are people with painful memories. We remember our losses. We remember our sins. We remember the sins which have been committed against us. It is part of the hard work of recovery to face these memories, to grieve them and to come to terms with them. But sometimes the painful memories become so powerful that it seems like nothing will be able to compete with them for our attention. The memory of pain consumes us. In times like this we need a powerful new memory that can challenge the dominance of our painful memories.

Jesus invites us to receive a new and startling memory. "Remember me," Jesus says, "Eat the bread and drink the wine and remember that I gave my life for you. I gave my life because I love you. Take this new memory. Allow it to shape the way you think about yourself and about life and about me. Allow yourself to remember me."

It is not that the memory of Jesus' sacrificial love erases all of our painful memories. Painful memories still have to be faced and grieved if healing is to come. But God offers us in Jesus a memory powerful enough to compete with the most powerful of painful memories. The death-grip which painful memories have on our attention can be broken by the powerful memory of God's love.

Help me to remember you, Lord.
Help me to find a place
in my mind and heart
for the memory of your love for me.
I want the memory of your love, Lord,
to be the most powerful of my memories.
I want it to be
The Memory
that shapes me.
Help me to remember you.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan

The next group of posts, soon to follow,
will focus on fostering an environment of trust
to encourage both forgiveness and reconciliation.