Social media has brought about many new phenomena. Selfies, hashtags, likes and friend requests to name a few. One of my favorites is Throwback Thursday. People take to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and post great photos of themselves as little kids or post very dated high school portraits. Those married in the 1980s with big hair are among my favorites. The hashtag, #tbt, is added and everyone as a great time reminiscing about the old fashions, hairstyles or home decor.
Some of my best Throwback Thursday pictures include my brother and I as kids. He was long, lanky and tow headed and I was the cute little sister with pig tails. My brother was the typical older brother who would tickle me until I wet my pants and I was the typical little sister who made sport out of annoying my older brother. I love looking at those old photos because they remind me of who we once were and who we are now.
I would say the 7 year age gap has now closed and we consider each other very good friends. We connect over Facebook and emails with our love for puns and word play. We check in with each other from time to time and commiserate over kid-raising and the challenges of parenting today. He still looks out for me - a couple of years ago when one of our cars caught fire, he actually found a buyer who paid us cash for what looked like a charred heap of metal and plastic. Apparently that car still had great value and he knew it and helped make something out of nothing for us.
Throwback Thursdays aren't really a new thing. God calls them our testimony. He reminds us all throughout Scripture too recall who we once were and to see where we have come and finally give God praise for His hand in it all. In the last book of the Bible, John has a vision of Satan finally being defeated. Revelation 12:10-11 says, "And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." While Christ's blood is the ultimate weapon against evil, our testimony also participates in the triumph.
The most popular hymn both believers and non believers sing is "Amazing Grace". John Newton wrote the hymn as revelation of how lost and blind he once was as slave trader. He describes how God's grace and mercy removed him of his fears and brought him to a safer place within the the will of God. Most everyone identifies with this song as testimony of their own lives no matter where they are in their walk with the Lord.
Think about where you have been. I think about where I have been a lot. My testimony includes insecurity, despair, immorality and pure selfishness. At the bottom of a pit of hopelessness, I cried out to God to show me who He was because I wasn't getting it. I grew up in a Christian household but I knew nothing of this thing called "grace" or even worse, that I needed it. My understanding of Jesus was that he died on a cross for my sins but that I really didn't need to consider that word "sin", it's an old fashioned word and really just a downer. Except, I was down - consumed with trying to understand why the world wasn't what I thought it was. Where was joy and why couldn't I find it?
On this Throwback Thursday, I challenge you to think of what the Lord has brought you out of and where you are headed. Maybe you have overcome abuse or a terrible addiction. Maybe your fears once gripped you so tightly you were incapable of functioning but the Lord taught you confidence. Perhaps you were once discontent and searching for something to fill a void in your life and you have now learned to be content in all things.
Maybe you don't know the Lord at all. Maybe you're reading this blog thinking I'm some religious quack. I'd challenge you to think about today and what it will be like to look back ten or twenty years from now. To think of that phrase in that famous hymn, "I once was...". Where would you like to see yourself? Where do you need victory? Imagine a snapshot of today and the hashtag #tbt and where God fits in.