Remembering What Matters
Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC
Have you ever noticed how often God says, “remember”? To Moses, God said, ...remember, I am GOD (Numbers 3:41, MSG). To us, Therefore, remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ...having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace... (Ephesians 2:11-14a, ESV). Ephesians delivers the sharp contrast of life before Christ (having no hope and without God in the world) and life in Christ (brought near to God by Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf and living in His peace).
During the Christmas season, we often sing songs about “peace on earth.” Jesus is the way to experience the peace for which we hope. Our job is to remember—God’s promises and presence, hope and love. On Friday night, December 10 and Saturday, December 11, dozens of tornadoes devastated areas in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, causing catastrophic damage, killing approximately 90 people.
After the catastrophic storms hit last weekend, Whitney Brown posted a video of her brother sitting in his roofless house playing the piano, ignoring the piano’s water damage and missing keys. Amidst the rubble that was once his home, the video depicts Jordan calmly playing the Gaither song, Jesus, There’s Just Something about That Name. The name and peace of Jesus can help us weather any storm! Let's pray for the many who have lost loved ones...and for the many others, like Jordan and his family, who are left to rebuild their lives. David cried out in his sorrow, the LORD has heard my weeping (Psalm 6:8, NIV). In Psalm 56:8, we're reminded that God notices and cares: You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle.
Years ago, a group of international students visited us as they traveled across the United States. They came from PRC (China), the Middle East, Japan, and other parts of the world. After a picnic dinner in our yard with their entire group, many of the students went home with their host families. Our family went for a walk with the twelve or so students staying at our home. It was a beautiful night, glittering stars so amazing that I stopped the group. “Look,” I exclaimed, waving my arms in excitement. “Anywhere you go in the world, these stars can help you remember God is with you.” The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1, NASU). And then? No one said anything! I wondered if my enthusiasm caused the international students to think Americans are weird. But several years later, we received a post card from one of the students, on which he wrote, simply: “I remember the stars. And I have invited Jesus to be my Savior.”
God remembers us. As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe]. For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14, AMP).
Wherever you are today, trust in God for comfort and hope, for healing and help! Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, AMP).
Have a wonderful December, enjoying God’s love!