"And they remembered His words," (Luke 24:8 NASB).
The route that I walk in the morning takes me up a very steep hill, er, mountain. I am gasping for breath by the time I'm half way up it. I've been trying to pray aloud or sing something while going up, in an attempt to improve my lung capacity. So far, I'm not passing out, which is good.
This morning, when I was at the half-way point, I was tempted to look back to see how far I'd come, but I resisted. When I got to the top, it felt good to see what I'd conquered. Then it hit me--this is how I should look at my walk with Christ. When I'm in the middle of a tough time, that is when my focus needs to be forward, looking to Christ to sustain me and give me the strength to conquer the mountain. When I'm at the victory point, it encourages me greatly to see how far I've come.
Conversely, when I look back in the middle of the "climb"--as I've been known to do-- I feel defeated. I'm tired, but I've got so much ahead of me, and all I can think is, will I make it? Gone is my stamina, and I feel like sitting down for a rest. Giving up. Maybe even turning around.
One definition for "remember" in Webster's New World Dictionary is: "to be careful not to forget." I love that. When I'm in the midst of something, I need to be careful not to forget God's goodness, His mercy and grace, and His strength that is mine when I lean on Him. When I remember that, instead of looking back on my past, my mind is renewed and I can keep going until I get to the top of whatever mountain I'm facing.