How many of us remember our parents bringing us home from the hospital, just days after our birth, waking at 3AM to feed and change us? Does anyone recall the lullabies sung to us as babies? Or who recalls their first few birthdays? Though we don’t remember these years, many researchers suggest the first 3 years of life are the most important for our development into adults.
Most of us don’t give much thought to what we don’t remember or what happened before we were born, but what if these are the best things, the most influential things, that ever happened to us?
Consider all the things God has done for us that we can’t remember. The apostle Paul often tries to explain the magnitude of blessings God has given His children, even before they were born, telling us in Ephesians 1:4-5 that we were adopted and chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world – all to His good pleasure. We obviously don’t remember any of this – since we weren’t born – but what God did for us, through Jesus on that cross 2,000 years ago, has shaped us more than anything else we’ll ever experience in this life.
“So what? Why should I care about something that happened before I was born?” Honestly, this is how we may feel about God’s love, Jesus, and the cross, but God’s love for us is so awesome BECAUSE it began before we were born, BECAUSE we can’t remember it.
In Romans 5:6, Paul says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.” If you’re God’s child, God loved you before you were born; before you knew Him, before you could even try to please Him, before you ever cleaned up your act – He loved you before all that and decided Jesus’ death would cover your sins. It’s a bit like your parent or caregiver’s love; no one can recall their first act of love towards us – they’ve just always loved us. When you realize that God’s love for you has no beginning, that it’s always been, you know you’ve found yourself in the midst of the deepest love.
And that changes you.
1 John 4:19 tells us that we love because Jesus first loved us. When we grasp this love that goes beyond our memory, even beyond our wildest imagination, but we understand that it’s for us, from God, through Jesus, we start to reflect that limitless love back to others. We can love, forgive, and care for others without a reason, just like our family did for us when we were babies, just like God has done and continues to do for us.
Yes, what you don’t remember has changed you forever.