Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 2, 2013

Remembering Life

Yesterday, in an instant, I was taken back twenty-two years to one of the hardest times in my life. That Saturday morning was beautiful, just like yesterday, when I received a phone call that turned our family’s lives upside down. My Dad had collapsed and was being rushed to the hospital. As my husband and sister rushed to the hospital, I rounded up all the kids and went to sit with Mom. It wasn’t long before we discovered the terrible news. Dad was gone!

What takes me back to that morning? Sometimes, I just turn the calendar to June 1 and I think about it. At other times, it can be something that reminds me of that fateful day – a beautiful, sunny morning; the sound of sirens around lunch time; sometimes, even the sound of my husband washing cars or kids splashing in a wading pool (that’s what was happening at our house on that morning) can take me back and make over twenty years seem like yesterday.

But while I can be transported back to that day in an instant, I don’t want to stay there. Why? That day was about heart-breaking loss, separation, and an empty space that could never be filled. I don’t want to stay in that place. Instead of thinking about how hard it was to lose him, I want to remember how good it was to have him for my Dad. I want to remember the fun times we had together. I want to smile about the hard, but needed, lessons he taught me. I want to think about the times he was there for me, the times he was proud of me, and the times we were just together.

As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me how true this is with my Heavenly Father as well. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to think about what Christ did for me, the way He was scourged and beaten, and nailed to a cross. I can get stuck on how I don’t deserve such a sacrifice. I can get hung up on how much He did for me and how little I do for Him. Without Christ’s death, I would never have forgiveness of sin. But when I stay with Him on the cross, I never live the life that He died to give me.

When I accept what Christ did for me – not because I deserve it, but simply because He loves me – and step out in faith to live this life He has given me, I truly discover what it means to live. And in the process, I come to know not only my Savior, not only my Lord, but also my Father. I come to know Him, the One who receives me and accepts me (see John 1:12), the One who loves me unconditionally (see Romans 8:38-39), the One who is always there ready to listen to me and help me (see Psalm 46:1), the One who corrects me and forgives me (see Psalm 86:5), the One who rejoices over me (see Zephaniah 3:17).

Instead of thinking about the way my Dad died, I want to remember the way He lived. I want to remember his laughter and joy, his loyalty and compassion. I want to remember how hard he worked and how much fun it was when he played. I want to remember road trips, picnics, ball games, and carnivals. I want to remember….remember….remember….and, hopefully, part of these good things that I remember will become an integral part of who I am.

Likewise, I want to experience life with my Heavenly Father much the same way. When I think about Him, I want to remember how He saved me, but also how He’s walked with me. I want to remember heard prayers and answered prayers. I want to remember struggles I went through and how my Father stayed close. I want to remember the sometimes hard lessons He taught me, and the unexpected joys that He often gave me. I want to remember…. remember….remember…. and, hopefully, as I walk with Him day by day, something of Him will be reflected in my life as He works to make me more like Jesus. Yes, I want to remember, but I want to remember life!

“The Lord your God is in your midst,

The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

(Zephaniah 3:17)

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