Posted by: glorifyhim1 | August 16, 2010

Remember When?

This weekend my family just returned from our summer vacation to St.George Island on the Forgotten Coast of Florida. This was the first for us at this location, but, hopefully, not our last, since it is a beautiful place with miles of unspoiled beaches. I had stumbled onto this area of Florida while searching for a closer location for my son and daughter-in-law to travel to from Atlanta. After reading the promotional literature for St. George Island that emphasized the miles of uncrowded beaches that were free from high rises and traffic – that were actually pet-friendly – and that provided a beautiful, quiet place to relax and reconnect with family, I was hooked and ready to pack my bags!

But now, vacation is over and we are all back to work, school, our separate routines – and our memories. I’m not sure why, but vacations always spark a reflective spirit in me. I can’t go on a new one without remembering an old one. This one was no different and I don’t think I’m alone. Several times over the week I heard the expression, “Remember when we …..?” We recalled other places we had been and laughed over fun things we had done or silly things that had happened. 

Most of our vacations over the years revolved around going to a beach somewhere. Maybe that is why hearing the rolling surf or the lonely cry of the sea gull sparks these memories. I dig my toes in the sand and remember building sand castles with my kids when they were small. I search for shells on the shore and remember my first trip to the beach as a kid when I wanted to pick up every seashell I could find. As my husband and I walk along the shore with our kids, who are now all grown-up, we remember them years ago scampering around our feet (or begging to be carried) and asking the inevitable question, “How much farther are we going to walk?” Now, they, too, walk along the endless shore absorbed in their own thoughts and reflections.

While such memories can often spark a tear or two (or even a flood!), they are also like manna to our spirits. These are the things we can remember when times are tough, when we are tired and weary, or when our way may be dark or troubling. We can remember and smile.

It is good to remember. Even Jesus instructed His disciples to remember Him. “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’” (Luke 22:19) Surely, Jesus wanted them to remember what He was going to do for them on the cross, but I think perhaps He also wanted them to remember what they did together. The disciples walked and talked with Jesus. They witnessed His power as He healed the sick and raised the dead. They saw his tenderness with children and His compassion with the hurting. They knew Jesus in a real, personal and intimate way. I think Jesus wanted them to remember Who He was and what He could do when they were experiencing their trials and difficulties.

Although we did not know Jesus in the flesh, we, too, can experience Him personally. Jesus Himself stated: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). As we walk with Jesus and experience Him in our lives, evidences of His goodness and faithfulness can renew and restore us spiritually. We can find encouragement and help during difficult times as we trust in Him. Like David who was being pursued by King Saul in the wilderness, we can remember Jesus’ lovingkindness in the past and find our faith and trust renewed. David  rejoiced in God his helper. “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice” (Psalm 63:6-17).

I’m thankful for my vacation memories, but I’m even more thankful for another memory that occurred over thirty years ago. Jesus reached out to me at one of the saddest moments of my life. Although I knew of Jesus, I wasn’t living for Him or walking with Him. I lay in a hospital delivery room awaiting the delivery of my first child whom I already knew was going to be stillborn. As I lay there in my hurt and grief, He spoke to me through the words of an old song I had heard years before – “Do you know my Jesus? Do you know my Lord? Do you know He loves you and that He will abide to the end?” I’ll always remember how Jesus reached out to me then and drew me to Him. I’ll remember how He has walked with me ever since, His countless blessings, mercy, and grace He has shown to me. And like the psalmist, I can say: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord” (Psalm 104:33-34).

Thank You, Sweet Jesus!

I remember!

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