All of my memories are not good ones. Reminiscing over my life, I have come to believe that the memories that I have retained are memories which in my perception, were a memory of someone being very nice to me or a memory of someone being very unkind to me.
One bad memory took place more than thirty-five years ago. Soon after finishing Bible college, my husband and I were leaving our home state of Oklahoma and moving to New England to begin a new church. With two small children and an overloaded U-Haul trailer, we said our good-byes to friends and family. Although I had determined in my heart that this was the Lord’s will for our lives, I was a little frightened and apprehensive about this new endeavor. Along the way, we stopped at a church to attend services. The pastor of the church was very kind to us, and he encouraged us to spend the night at his house. He assured us that we could get a fresh start in the morning. When we arrived at his home, his wife was not happy about the plans her husband had made. We brought in our suitcases and began to make preparations for the night. As I helped this pastor’s wife change sheets, she grumbled and complained about all the people who had stayed with them during the last few weeks. I felt so bad that I wished that we could have just left. She made me feel as though our family was being a great imposition on her. That very night I made a promise to the Lord. “Lord, if You ever allow me the opportunity to show hospitality to Your servants, I will not do it grudgingly. Not only, Lord, will I NOT DO IT GRUDGINGLY, but I will DO IT JOYFULLY!” Little did I know when I made that promise to the Lord that one day the Lord would give me the privilege of hosting hundreds of Pastors and missionaries through the years.
In Phillip Keller’s book A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit, he gives an illustration of a time when he and his wife invited an older Christian couple to their home for dinner and fellowship. He described the couple as a very sweet couple with long years of tough service for Christ. After the meal, they all sat around a crackling fire and the elderly gentleman exchanged stories of his childhood with them. Keller describes this visit as a great blessing to not only him and his wife, but also for the older couple. He said, “As that older couple went out the door to go home, I saw two people, who for that evening, had recaptured the joy of their youth.” What a lesson we can all learn from that illustration.
Lord, help me today to be the instrument that You use to help create good memories for others.