Our lives are full of memories. Early in life, we begin collecting our memories. Our memories are a mixture of both the good and bad experiences of life. Some memories we cherish like rare gifts, while other memories we wish we could erase. As someone once said, “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” Yet, regardless of the source of our memories, they become a part of our stories.
While we have many unforgettable memories about places and things, perhaps our most significant memories are of the people in our lives who have made life special. Our lives are not lived in isolation, but our lives daily intersect the lives of others. Some of these intersections only last for a moment, where others not only cross but join together. As we consider our family and friends, we realize how blessed we are by the people in our lives.
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Philippi, he affectionally begins, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3) As Paul thought about the Christians at Philippi, he could not help but to stop and give thanks for their special place in his life. Although he could not be present with them, his heart was filled with the memories of times already shared. Memories that caused him to long for future meetings.
We also carry a wonderful treasury of memories of those individuals who are no longer with us. Death removes the physical presence of those whom we love, but death cannot erase the memories of the one lost. These memories are the gifts of our beloved friends and family that remain with us. Such memories can be a source of great comfort, encouragement, and hopefully, joy. Thus, whenever one of these memories rises to the surface of our hearts, we can confess like Paul, “I thank God every time I remember you.”
So, let us each remember well the gifts of family and friends that make our lives special, both those living and those now living in eternity. Each day we should spend some time giving thanks for the people in our lives. These memories are unique gifts. Cherish and honor them, and in doing so, we keep them forever in our hearts and lives.