Why We Need to Remember the Hard Times

By Chris Hatch on March 07, 2016

21 years ago, Josephine and I arrived in Jackson, Miss., to attend a conference with John Perkins and Voice of Calvary.

We never made it to the conference.

After arriving in town and checking into our hotel, we went looking for dinner. While stopped at a light, a drunk driver in a full-size van plowed into the back of our rental car.

The trunk and back seat were crushed with the impact. I was knocked unconscious. Josephine was shaken and sore but walked away with only a scratch on her arm. At midnight, I was released from the hospital. Mercifully, neither of us have had lasting physical injuries.

In a way, we treasure the picture of that car with the back-end crushed and the front looking perfect. It’s like God said “That’s enough!” and His hand stopped the van at just the right place. The picture has become a memorial that God’s not finished with our lives yet.

This past weekend we were back in Jackson – Josephine’s first visit since that fateful day. We spent time at Redeemer Church, a healthy, multi-ethnic Presbyterian church – deep in the American South!! God is at work!

Josephine and I will always remember Jackson as the scene of “The Accident.” But thankfully it is only a memory. A “good” memory, of sorts – because it reminds us of the faithfulness of God.

Do you have any memorials of the hard times you’ve been through? Any photos or items to mark that difficult time when God showed up?

We need memorials of those hard times because we constantly forget what God has done in the past. Our memories are short. Our current struggles make it easy to lose sight of God’s mercy in the past.

We find a biblical example of this practice in Joshua 4 where the Lord had his people set up 12 stones as a memorial “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty” (Joshua 4:24).

Set a memorial to your hard times. Return again and again to the memory that God showed mercy in your past and He will be merciful into the future.

 

 

Chris Hatch

About Chris Hatch

Chris, originally from the Southeastern US, is a church planter in London where he and his wife Jospehine, originally from Kenya, are serving in a culturally diverse church called New City, IPC. Both Chris and Josephine are graduates of Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis and they have two children Rahel and Kaleb.