This morning, in my church worship time, we sang one of my favorite songs. It calls us to remembrance. Remembering what the Lord has done for us. Remembering to offer Him all our praise and worship for His faithfulness to us. Take a moment and listen. . . and remember!
We are about to say goodbye. I don’t know about you, but I do not like goodbyes. They are hard. Often heart-wrenching. They are impossible to avoid. Goodbyes come. We have to experience them as a part of life.
Soon we will all say goodbye to this year of 2019. For some its been a really good year. For others its been the most difficult year ever. For still others, and this would include me, its been a mixed year. There has been plenty of good things: joys and triumphs, periods of great laughter and fun, good news of accomplishments, rewards of a job well done, monetary blessings, new friendships formed, new challenges created, and the daily reminders of God’s presence, protection, promises and peace. I smile when I remember the good things of this year 2019.
But there has also been plenty of not so good things, like: medical illnesses and new diagnosis’ made, loss of several friends and family through death, broken relationships, financial struggles, loss of belongings, job insecurity, sadness and bad days, sin and evil within and around me. 2019 has not been my greatest year. But then, it really hasn’t been my worst. Yet, it has been exactly as God planned it to be.
I remember this year fondly though. For I remember God’s hand was upon me as He guided my footsteps through 2019. I remember His imprint into each and every detail of the year. He left His mark upon my heart, my soul, my life and it will always be there for me to remember Him by. How special that He loves me that much! I have seen and I have experienced His faithfulness to me, over and over again. His faithfulness shown to me at times that I didn’t deserve it (that’s grace!). His faithfulness that carried me through the tough times of the year. His faithfulness that taught me many a new lesson to put into practice and carry forward into a new year. His faithfulness that showed me more of who He is! And because I learned more about my God in 2019, then I would say, that I had a really good year!
There is so much for all of us to remember. Our remembrances could get stuck on all the bad things that have happened. Things that were difficult and hard to bear. Things that discouraged and attempted to bring us to despair. Our remembrances could become overwhelming by what our lives, our families, our churches, our communities, our country have become as many people focus less and less upon our God. Our remembrances could even get mired down in the all-consuming mud of the sin and evil around us. That could be our choice, should we choose to remember those things. OR, as the time draws near to say goodbye to this year of 2019, we could choose to remember the Lord our God and the work that He has done in and through us, each and every one, throughout this year. For whether we choose to admit it or not, our God remains the Faithful One!
This morning as I sat, curled up in my “quiet time” chair, with a hot cup of tea in my hands, my Bible opened, and my heart and mind ready to meet with Jesus, I came across something special in the Book of Psalms. David wrote a Psalm of Remembrance to His God. It’s found in Psalms 25, verses 6-21. It says this – –
“Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindnesses, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.”
Thank you David! If you don’t mind, I would like to borrow this prayer, this psalm of remembrance. I should like to read it aloud to my God, each day, as this year 2019 comes to an end. It will be my way of saying goodbye to this year and remembering God’s wonderful work in my heart, my soul and my life.
Goodbye 2019! Thank you God for helping me to remember! Truly, my Lord and my God, You have been faithful to me!
Kathy O’Brien is a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ with a passionate message for others to “Come Follow Jesus” with me. She has served as a missionary teacher in Edinburgh, Scotland and Liverpool, England. It was while in England she met and married her English sweetheart, Andrew. They currently reside in Tucson, Arizona, USA where they are team-teaching Chinese children. Kathy is the founder and director of Word of Truth Ministries. Within that ministry she offers (1) Free Bible correspondence lessons for children and teens, (2) Bible study groups for women and (3) mentoring and encouraging others who are walking the Christian life with her.