I’ll Remember You

Eccles 12 1The cherished quiet moments of my morning time with the Lord had ended as the activities of the day began demanding attention. Fixing breakfast, I stole another quick, silent few minutes while standing at my kitchen sink to take communion and focus on the Lord. Moving on to the food preparation, I was surprised and blessed to sense my spirit declaring, “I remember You,” and I prayed, “Yes Lord! I do remember You; and I desire to remember You throughout the day, regardless of what is happening; I desire to remember You in the midst of chaos as well calm.”

Next task—get online to check email, but I Remember You began playing in my head. Remember that smooth jazz tune? Its popularity has endured since it was first introduced in 1942 when my mom was only fourteen years old. It was a time that was dominated by the horrors of World War II and perhaps, it was also a time when focusing on the sweetness of someone you loved was comforting amidst the anguish. This morning, only the first 2 lines were resonating, so I Googled the song for the rest of the lyrics and was astounded by the relevance of the last verse to my own romance with God:

I remember you
You’re the one who made my dreams come true…
…When my life is through
And the angels ask me to recall
The thrill of them all
Then I will tell them I remember you

God has made it clear that He always remembers us, just one example being Psalm 40:5:

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.

But do we remember Him with that same passion—every day, all day, and not just on Sunday, Easter or Christmas? We love to receive His blessings, and we often cling to such wonderful promises as we read in Psalm 91, but have we looked closely at the ‘gotchas’? Check out the qualifiers for the protections promised:

1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.

If we expect to receive God’s blessings, we must make Him our dwelling place—we must live in Him, hold onto Him, and know Him so intimately that we are on a first-name basis. When we do, we will remember Him always and, as in that last stanza of the song, our greatest memories and our testimony throughout eternity will be of His love and faithfulness, His mercy and grace, His peace and comfort and sufficiency throughout our lives here on earth.

Lonely? Never Again!!!

d9a4398f81a12bd0ac69fde82a8cb3c1-2Isolated in an exam room while waiting for my doctor (who was running very late!), I was a victim of the ‘canned music’ that played throughout the office.  I must admit, it wasn’t too bad for a baby boomer like me, since most of the tunes were those I enjoyed in years gone by.

God often speaks to me by causing a song to begin playing in my head, so I’ve become very careful about what music I listen to, not wanting a re-play of something I’ve heard recently to ‘get stuck’ and drown out what He might want to say.  For example, have you ever had a particularly obnoxious jingle from a television commercial lodge itself in your brain?  Over, and over, and over those words repeat, and nothing seems to erase the recording except time.  I’d much rather listen to His Melodies of Love, which I’ve written about previously.

But on this day, my ears were subjected to one tune after another that spoke of loneliness, loss, and depression.  Initially it was the whining words of Bob Dylan:

Go ’way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

What a contrast to God’s promises!

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Next there was the amazing voice of Sam Cooke belting out Another Saturday Night, a song I’ve always enjoyed, but one that is nevertheless an expression of loneliness.

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I got some money ’cause i just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

Such terrible loneliness was also expressed by Bobby Vinton:

Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody for my own
I am so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
Wish I had someone to call on the phone

When we live in the truth of the absolute presence of the Lord, loneliness is vanquished.  it has no chance against the word of God, as expressed in Psalm 139: 1-12:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me,and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

Finally, and perhaps the saddest commentary of all, John Lennon’s Help poured out through the speakers.  The song was released in 1965, and blasted incessantly from every radio on its way to the top of the charts.  A year later, I remember clearly my disappointment and revulsion when Lennon declared that God is dead and that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.  Aligned with the things of the world, and delving into drugs, sex, and New Age philosophies for his help, it’s doubtful that he ever found what he really needed before his murder in 1980, at just forty years of age.  Our lives do not have to be a such a hopeless testimony of loneliness because we can find our help in Jesus.  All we have to do is ask Him in.

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Sunrise, Sunset…

139From the beginning, as the Fiddler fiddled from his rooftop on the stage I was enchanted–carried away to the Tsarist Russia of 1905 where Tevye attempted to cope with the challenges to his faith and the influences of the world on his five daughters.  All too soon, Act I neared its conclusion and haunting lyrics filled the theatre and stabbed at hearts…

141

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laiden with happiness and tears

 

I must wonder if the lyricist knew how closely his words echo the scriptures, proclaiming the truth that there is a time for every season…

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

He comes out like a flower and withers;

he flees like a shadow and continues not.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

Many seasons have passed in my life since I first sat enthralled by the saga of the Fiddler on the Roof and yes; they have all flown so swiftly by.  I look at our wedding pictures, amazed that we were ever so young.  I consider my baby who now has babies of his own.  My husband’s hair is white, and mirrors show stark evidence of my age.  May dad has already been gone for five years, yet it seems like yesterday that he was telling me I could be anything I wanted when I grew up.  My fiercely independent mother is independent no longer.  So many sunrises, so many sunsets; and it would be easy to sink into the melancholy mood of the song.  But while I may occasionally visit those days gone by with a nostalgic sense of sadness, I don’t stay long because I have hope, and His name is Jesus. 

A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:6-8

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

Jesus is the Word and He stands forever, so instead of lamenting the brevity of life I proclaim the truth of the word of God…

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24