Did you know that nostalgia was actually considered a disease? Yup, back in 17-19th century, nostalgia was a bona fide medically recognised condition, which had detrimental effects on soldiers, weaned children, and young people leaving home for the first time. Today we welcome nostalgia and playfully consider it a harmless trip down memory lane. However, sometimes we stay a bit too long down that street of romanticised memories and embraced ‘what ifs’.
The memories of Christmas
For instance, I loved Christmas as a child; I mean, who didn’t? Every year certain songs, smells and tastes take me right back to my childhood of licking bowls from my mother’s baking. My mind happily recalls our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of freshly baked ham, sweet bread and pudding, with a hot cup of tea before the 6 am Christmas service. These are the cherished holiday traditions of many Caribbean children and such memories have kept me company when I spent the holidays far away from home, in foreign lands.
Seldom are those memories interrupted by the remembrance of the lack before or after the season, as my mother saved up to splurge for those few days. Likewise, they are also not dampened by recollection of the dreaded and back-breaking cleaning rituals, which every Caribbean parent seemed to believe was the only way to ensure that December 24th-26th came.
Anyway, we are all past that now! Right?! Well, as an adult, I’ve since banished such self-imposed ‘holiday hard labour’ and chosen to create my own traditions and memories. However, I’m very careful to remain somewhat respectful to the deferred gratification that nostalgia will gift me in years to come.
Nostalgia in the Bible
There is an ideal case of nostalgia seen in the Bible, in the books of Exodus and Numbers. It’s the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. While in Egypt, the Israelites complained of hardships and longed for freedom from their oppressors. However, after God freed them from Egypt and they faced their transition period in the wilderness, they quickly forgot about their previous hardships. Instead, they became nostalgic for the past, romanticised with free fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions & garlic. (Numbers chapter 11, verse 5)
Those of us who know how this story ends would naturally think it was absurd for these people to even consider exchanging their freedom for something so fleeting. But I challenge you before we judge, to compare their exodus and wilderness period to our personal journeys and seasons.
▪️ What has God delivered us from that we still yearn for?
▪️ How have we been romanticising our bondage to the world?
▪️ Can we see past our current wilderness and visits of nostalgia?
▪️ Do we have FAITH & HOPE in the plans that God has for us?
Ecclesiastes chapter 7, verses 10-11 says, “Do not say,“Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.”
My spiritual warfare process
When the enemy that stops me from accessing the *HOPE & FUTURE* that God has for me is nostalgia, I always return to my tried and true process of spiritual warfare:
1. What did God say to me?
2. How has that word been confirmed?
3. Stand on His promises!
4. Fight for what is rightfully mine!
5. Enjoy the victory which God says is surely mine in Him.
You are very welcome to share this process in your own spiritual battles. When (not if) the enemy comes, we must be ready with a strong response in Jesus.
1 John chapter 5, verse 4 says, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
Need I remind you who your Daddy is? Stand, Fight and Enjoy the promises of God as a reborn believer, forgetting the past and enjoying your rights to victory over this world.
Natalie is a marketing manager by profession, and she also serves as the communications specialist at her local assembly, Hope Church, in Barbados. She loves the Lord and is passionate about helping others to reach their full purpose and potential in Christ.
Natalie, her husband Fabian and a few friends also share thoughts and devotions concerning Christ on their website www.mymotivationalmedia.com.