How God Remembers You
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
It started with an early morning phone call from a relative of a church member. Their connection with the church was almost non-existent, but in a time of crisis they needed a pastor to come. Their father was in the nursing home and he was dying. Would I please come and sit with the family? I dressed quickly and headed to the nursing facility where the man was on his death bed.
The man was unresponsive and so I tried to get to know the family. They were strangely distant. Polite but distant. After a bit they excused themselves to go outside and get some fresh air. I was left alone with the man. As I held his hand, I tried to speak words of comfort to him and talk to him about the assurance of Jesus as a personal Savior. There was no response and just as the family came back into the room, the man died.
They asked me to conduct the funeral service and I agreed and set a date to meet with the family to talk about the service. A few days later we were meeting in the living room of one of the sons. As I worked my way through my list of questions in preparation of the service, I began asking about their dad so that I would be able to share some personal stories and positive memories of this man that I had never met.
Once again there was a polite but distant silence. I was getting nowhere. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the oldest son said something that I have never forgotten. He said, “Preacher, we really don’t care what you say about our father. He was a terrible person. We hated him. We are only here because we know it is the right thing to do.”
Wow. I was blown away. In death most of us remember the good things and want to share our fun and good memories of the loved one that has died. Not that day.
There is a great reassuring text in Psalm 25:7 that declares, “Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me for your goodness sake, O Lord.”
Don’t you love that last line? According to Your mercy remember me. God knows what to say about us. He remembers us with mercy. He remembers us according to His goodness and not any thing connected to our meager existence. There is no hesitation regarding what He wants to say about us. He knows us and Je is proud of us and want to remember us in the most positive light.
During this holiday season, you will no doubt have family time and may even reminisce about family members that couldn’t make it home, or family that has died, or even remember things about each other when you were growing up together. Just remember to “remember with mercy” just as God plans to remember you.
Have a great holiday season!