The moment I realised that my now 14 year old daughter was born by Caesarean Section having the umbilical cord wrapped 5 times around her neck was a moment I simply had to thank God. Why had she not died in that moment or in those preceding? If she had been born naturally she probably wouldn’t have made it. This and many other big and small things happen to us for a reason. It’s to remember how faithful God has been throughout our lives.
How is that we’re touched emotionally? It happens without a lot of warning much of the time. It happens when we recall certain life-changing events like the births of our kids, narrow escapes from death, healing miracles and a whole lot more. It happens when we hear people (especially our own kin) tell a story of God’s undying faithfulness.
On the evening of the last night of our Growing Kids God’s Way course, we were treated to one of most solemn reminders of the power of ‘memorials,’ or ‘to remember’—the power of the story. Moses told the Israelites “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren” –Deuteronomy 4:9 (NLT).
Do not let these memories escape from your mind... and so without memorials to the wonderful and astonishing things we have seen, we let them escape and we so easily forget how powerful our great God has been in saving us and our families over and over again.
Sure, I know for most of us there are pains and losses that we’ve suffered where we simply couldn’t believe ‘God could do this to us.’ I cannot explain these away. But all I can say is, for all the good things we can thank God. And even for the bad things that happen, it is also possible, eventually, to thank God. (I can say this from personal experience.) We should never thank God for evil, but we can thank him for whatever eventual good comes from these events and situations. And it’s his nature to turn bad into good.
There’s no question that God’s placed the events of our lives in some sort of order, call them spiritual markers perhaps, of times when he’s broken in and saved us from disaster.
You know what? He wants us to impress these on our children to keep the stories alive of what he can do in situations where our confusion and faith fail us. Situations where we lost hope but he revived it again.
Memorials are a great lesson in soaking up the moments of enormity in our lives, again and again, cherishing them afresh, bringing them to life, as we live our days on this sweet and enduring earth.
Don’t forget, we have this tendency to forget the good things that our eyes have seen... our children and grandchildren need these visions of the security in God so that they too can learn to rely upon him and his sufficiency—to the nurturing of peace, joy and many other very good things.
Learn to remember, often. Learn to not forget.