Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
- Deuteronomy 8:1-2
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
- Revelation 3:2-3
Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’”
- Numbers 15:40-41
But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’
- Joshua 1:12-13
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
- 1 Chronicles 16:12-14
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
- Psalm 63:6-8
“Someone once said, ‘The gift of old age is remembrance.’ Although I have had to curtail most of my travel, life itself still keeps me motivated as I watch God’s hand at work, not only in my own life but also in the lives of those around me and throughout the world. These last few years have brought the gift of observation and reflection.”
- Billy Graham, Nearing Home
After quoting the Scriptures above, Rev. Graham states, “These are remembrances worth recalling time and again.”
I keep forgetting those memory verses and the verses that command us to remember. Rev. Graham talks of losing one’s memory later in the book. The book was published in 2011. It is dedicated to getting old. He had roughly a decade left in his own life, but I highly recommend the book, if for no other reason that he talks about being prepared to go home. He provides lessons for us all, and if we have already done this or that thing that he mentions, we can be confident that we are on the right road toward being prepared to go home.
Writing these articles, or whatever you might call them, is a great way to get your thoughts down, talk about the important stuff, but then some of those memories are far from important, simply heart-warming or funny.
But in those heart-warming or funny moments you remember the people that you held dear, loved you and the love was mutual.
The only thing that will matter in the end is that we loved Jesus, but how do we prepare to go home?
There might be a ton of mechanics involved in preparing to go home, but what we need to do from now until then is show the Love of God to those around us.
My wife is excellent at doing that. She had a heart for serving and helping other people before she made a total commitment to Jesus Christ. That aspect of her life has not really changed, but as she becomes more infirmed, she has become more creative in some respects and more simple in others. You might get a gift card, but you may never know how exhausted my wife was standing at the gift card rack and picking up ten different cards before picking the one YOU would like the best. By the time she walked to the car, she wondered if she would have enough strength to reach the bed once we got home.
My wife has had cognitive issues, but she still remembers birthdays. I need to have that stuff written down, but she does not. She says that if you care, you will remember.
And I think that is what “old folks” remember, as Billy Graham suggests. We remember those people that we care about or used to care about us. We might have some unescapable bad times that come to mind, but for the most part those memories fade. We mostly remember the good times, even when those good times might not have seemed so good at the time.
And I think God is sometimes at the controls of the video tape changer. He will throw on a memory of someone that we had not thought of in years. Sometimes, it spurs us into trying to connect with that person. Sometimes, it simply spurs us into praying for them. After all, if God wanted us to think of them, they probably need the prayers. It is amazing how my wife can pick up the phone to call someone with whom she may not have talked in a few years or a few months, and the person would be ready to break down crying. They had been at wits end, needing someone to talk to, and that was the moment my wife called.
With her dialysis schedule and constant doctor visits and procedures, she complains about what use she is in this world, but she is useful in that she remembers people, and God directs her in the right direction.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.