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‘Tis Sweet To Be Remembered
by LaBreeska Hemphill
Most everyone loves to be remembered. Through the years I have had folks come up to me at concerts and, with a big knowing grin blurt out, “remember me?!” With the many people with which we come in contact there is simply no way to remember them all. Yet, I know that I’m going to burst their bubble if I can’t. So I try to be tactful and respond kindly by saying, “you’ll have to help me.” It’s amazing the answers I get to that statement. I recall one person who was about twenty-five years old who said, “don’t you remember me?” When I was four years old I had my picture taken with you right here at this auditorium!”
At other times when approached with that question, I’ll ask them to be more specific about the time I saw them last. To my amazement it was fifteen or twenty years back! Sometimes even longer. And, because they remember it, they think that I should too.
Joel and I have gathered quite a few friends through the years. We are pretty good at remembering many of them on site and can even call them by name. We have developed a system that helps us. When we are at large functions, the one who remembers a name first will call it out on contact. Maybe all that either one of us can recall is a last name. If it’s Joel he’ll say something like, “well, how are the Jones’?” It may trigger something in my memory and then I can call them by their first names.
We all like to be remembered. It makes us feel good when someone we haven’t seen in a long time calls us by name. Or how wonderful it is when someone sends us a card or flowers to say “we love you and are thinking of you.” That is great! But to be remembered by our Heavenly Father is the ultimate! Though we sometimes have a problem remembering, it is comforting to know that God doesn’t. He forgets nothing unless it is covered by the blood of Jesus. That’s why we sing, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Our prayers, tears, struggles with life and relationships, and our commitment to fight the good fight of faith is never forgotten by Him. It may take years, but God always comes to our rescue because He does remember!
The story of Noah is a good example. After the great flood that destroyed every living thing, Noah, his family and all that were kept alive in the ark were bobbing up and down in the middle of nowhere. All Noah had to rely on was the promise of God, and as time moves along those promises can grow dim. Especially when the flood waters of life rise and our very being seems to be in jeopardy. Human nature, being as it is, makes me wonder if Noah entertained the thought that maybe God had forgotten them. Time was against them, they only had enough food and water to last a short while and daily he could see it dwindling away. Then comes the verse in the Bible that says; “And God remembered Noah” (Genesis 8:1). It was God to the rescue! He delivered them safely to dry ground and made His promise good.
The story of Rachel is another great example. Hers was a life of suffering. She helplessly stood by while her dad betrayed her and gave Jacob, her betrothed love of her life, to her sister Leah in matrimony. Then when she finally became Jacob's wife she found that she was barren and watched in grief as Leah presented their husband with six sons and a daughter.
We can read between the lines, feel the pain, understand the suffering and know that there were years of tears and prayers to God. Then the scripture says: “And God remembered Rachel, and God harkened to her, and opened her womb, and she conceived, and bore a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: and she called his name Joseph: and said, The Lord shall add to me another son” (Gen. 30:20-24).
I like to read the book of Nehemiah - it is small but powerful. It describes how Nehemiah received permission from King Artaxerxes to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls after the remnant returned from exile. He gathered the people together and with much opposition from their enemies, repaired and rebuilt the walls around the city. Sanballat and Tobiah, their enemies, were relentless in trying to stop them. They did everything in their power to prevent the Jewish people from their work to the extent that half of the workers held spears, shields and bows to protect the other half as they worked. Even the workers built with one hand and held a weapon in the other. This was very grievous to Nehemiah.
When they completed the wall you find Nehemiah praying against the enemies of the Lord and asking God to remember their evil works; “Remember them O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood...” and he ended his prayer and book with these words: “Remember me O my God for good” (Nehemiah 13:29-31)!
That’s the way I want to be remembered, for the good that I have done. Not for my mess-up’s and dumb mistakes. The Bible tells us that God has a "book of remembrance." The Scriptures show us how we can have our names written in it. Here is what it says:
“Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another; and the Lord harkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of host, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Malachi 3:16-17).
Heavenly Father, you are awesome! Thank you for such a book that even records our thoughts about your name and conversation about your goodness! Thank you that you have no problem remembering the good that we have done while here on earth - no matter how small. And it is written down for all eternity! It is sweet to be remembered and most importantly, by you!!!!