verb: bring back to mind; think of again, remind
“But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:21-23
Here comes Thanksgiving already.
So many emotions flood in, so many memories. Of course, I’m feeling grateful. The boys are flying home. We have plenty of food to share with family coming. We get some much-needed time to rest, to be together, to watch football and eat leftovers.
And I remember…
Thanksgiving as a child at Grandma’s with all the cousins– running around the kitchen with olives on every finger, finding our seats at the huge table with the handmade place cards, and burying our pumpkin pie under mounds of whipped cream.
The unexpected Thanksgiving snowstorm during my freshman year of college and the frightening possibility of spending the long weekend alone in the dorm. (Thanks to a friend’s dad and his big truck, we made it home.)
Many Thanksgivings of warmth and deliciousness in her kitchen, but mostly–no matter how old I was–the comfort of being home with Mom.
The day before Thanksgiving in 2011 when blood tests showed that her cancer had come back and our hearts were trembling.
Her last Thanksgiving two years later when we she tried so hard to eat with us, but her body wouldn’t let her.
Good things and hard things weave themselves together, and we can still be grateful.
Why should we–how CAN we–be grateful when so many of us are in a season of suffering?
Because our God remembers us.
“He’s God, our God, in charge of the whole earth. And he remembers, remembers his Covenant–for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.” Psalm 105:7-8
It goes on to list the ways that God was faithful to his people:
-through famine he raised up Joseph and provided them with food
-through slavery he spoke through Moses and worked miracles to lead them out
–through the wandering and waiting of the wilderness years he spread a cloud to keep them cool throughout the day and a fire to light their way through the night.
-and even though they despaired and complained, He filled them with bread and quail, he “opened the rock and water poured out…”
There is a great deal of suffering in these stories of God’s chosen people. But there are so many miracles. So many times that God showed up in his tender, knowing, amazing ways.
And at the end of it all,
“Remember this! He led his people out singing for joy…he made them a gift of the country they entered...” Psalm 105:43-44
Invite Him In:
Ask Jesus to help you to remember this if the holidays feel less-than-happy this year:
“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The worst is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return…” Lamentations 3:28-31
He remembers his covenant, and he won’t leave you. Ever. You will come out (of the wanting, the waiting, the bondage, the fear, and the grieving) singing for joy. Let’s be grateful for this hope we have in our faithful God.