It is interesting to experience the tug in our heart when we visit a place that holds significance in our personal history. In 1981 as a young couple with two little kids and a couple of cats, Jan and I left a known life in Oregon to embrace a new and unfamiliar life in the Flathead Valley of northwest Montana where we planted a church. God took our naivety and what appeared on paper to be very insufficient funding and mixed it with His faithfulness and our growing faith and a church was birthed.
Last week, Jan and I returned to Montana for a week on Flathead Lake. It was a time of rest. This was not our first return. We had returned many times before in the last 37 years. When we got home, I listened to Ray Hughes song about Montana. The song "just appeared" on a friend's Facebook wall. I thought the timing was interesting. One part of the song that touched me in a deep place had these lyrics,
“I’m going, I’m gone, back to Montana. Where the pines stand like angels and point to the throne. I going, I’m gone where the sky is forever. You can stand anywhere and always hear home.”
As I listened to Ray’s poignant lyrics, memories flooded in as they had done on each return visit. Our time in Montana many years ago had moments of personal struggle and disillusionment. But those challenges were used by God to form us and prepare us for this season of life. With God, nothing is ever lost. Memories are never wasted when God has them in His hands. They become the extension of his fingers as He molds us for His purpose.
Today, become aware of the things that stir your memories. Step inside them and let God show you what He sees. He is able to use a song, a poem or the song of a meadowlark to remind you what is truly important and memorable in this life.
(If you would like to listen to Ray's song about Montana, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Kc56fBGCc)