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Remembrance

Remembrance

“Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.” —Psalm 107:43

Every family has a unique history. The act of remembering this history has a distinctive way of leading family members into deeper places of intimacy as a collective whole.

Several weeks ago, I spent time in my hometown of Mandan, North Dakota, doing this very thing with my family. Together, we sat by my parent’s fireplace and passed around lively stories filled with laughter and surprise. We blew the dust from old memories which were seemingly forgotten. We even dared to step into the dark corners and carefully recalled tender stories filled with tension, trauma, and grief. This act of familial remembrance caused us to lean in closer, listen more carefully, and ask more curiously.

It made us acutely aware of major themes and minute details. In doing so, we became more attentive to each other. As we basked in stories that were filled with goodness as well as heartache, I realized I was standing on holy ground. In that moment, the members of my family knew one another in new ways based on our shared experiences together. Even more sacred was the way in which we witnessed the shimmering threads of God’s faithfulness woven throughout our entire family history. I am led to worship even now as I reflect on this moment.

You see, the kind of remembrance exemplified in Psalm 107 has the potential to lead us to deeper places of intimacy not only with ourselves and others, but ultimately with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Your memory of God’s presence in your history, both personal as well as in the collective Body of Christ, is meant to sustain you and propel you forward into deeper and more intimate spaces of faith. In other words, your faith and intimacy grow as you practice a rhythm of daily remembrance.

As you remember where you have been and how God has moved on your behalf, you will undoubtedly come across moments of tension and pain mixed together with moments where God’s steadfast love and blessing are easy to identify. If you desire to be honest with yourself and with God, I encourage you to not only recall the moments of goodness but also recall the moments when you felt abandoned.1 Remember the tender seasons when you felt as though your prayers went unanswered as well as the seasons you felt blessed. Sit with the Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal His presence to you and to renew your perspectives on both of these realities. As you stand on this holy ground, perhaps you will be led to lean in closer, listen more carefully, and ask more curiously.

Prayer for the week: Father, as we take a posture of remembrance, lead us into a deeper space of intimacy, healing, and worship with You that we have not yet experienced. We love You. Amen.

Sarah Fredricks is Associate Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA.

[1] Dan Allender, The Healing Path (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1999), 115.

Written for Coffee Break