It’s called “nostalgic amnesia.”
It is a state of mind where we experience warm fuzzy feelings about where we’ve been, reminiscences of a past time, and we completely forget how crappy that time was when we were actually, originally experiencing it.
It’s a real thing.
The Hebrew scriptures give us a picture of nostalgic amnesia.
The Israelites had been freed from captivity and were in the middle of the wilderness. Now, keep in mind that they were ON THEIR WAY to the PROMISED LAND . . . so it wasn’t like they hadn’t been promised anything. But because their current reality wasn’t what they hoped it would be they were disappointed, frustrated, and some were downright angry.
Rather than look at where they were as a gift and know that better things were coming they instead falsely remembered their past as “the glory days.”
They forgot how oppressed they were.
They neglected to remember how God intervened and gave them freedom.
They were “choosing” to see false things.
At one point in the wilderness, they were struggling with being bitten by snakes.
God told Moses to grab one of them and in doing so the snake became a bronze snake, a symbol for them of God’s providing presence for them in their lives.
Maybe if God were putting it in our own vernacular he’d say, “Suck it up, for goodness sake! It may not be ideal right now, but take a look around you . . . . and remember the past accurately. I’m STILL here. the same God that led you out of slavery, oppression, and even death . . . that same God is ME! I’m HERE! TODAY!!!!”
Right before Jesus uttered the infamous words of John 3:16, he talked about the snake.
Right before he said, “For God so loved the world . . .” he talked about how the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert.
What did that mean?
The journey Jesus was preparing to take was and is the ultimate gift of life. Through his sacrifices, through his being scorned, tortured, beaten, and killed, all who would truly understand what that was and meant WOULD have life.
Remember the snake.
Remember that where we are right now can and will be used for good, for hope, for healing if we will walk in it and through it. The past is not the “good ol days.”
Regardless of the depth of the pain right now, if we allow it, the best will always be yet to come.
15 “No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.