Yes, today would definitely be the day. I mustered all the energy this aged body had stored in reserve and made my way down the narrow steps leading to our basement. I fully understood the gravity of the chore set before me. In anticipation of the upcoming Christmas season, the time had arrived to pull tons of oversized boxes out of our storage room, to wrestle those heavy critters back up the stairs, and to commence with the task of decorating the house. It was in the midst of that ordeal that I made a brilliant observation: my sweetheart and I were about to celebrate our forty-sixth Christmas together, and in the span of those decades spent together, I had gathered far too many decorations!
I set about organizing the chaos spread before me, separating the décor into piles: the tons of snowmen that I had collected; the many treasured reminders of my children, including tacky advent calendars and handmade stockings; presents gifted me from former students; the ornaments we had purchased on our yearly trips to Oglebay; all sweet memories of days gone by. But then, delicately wrapped in paper towels and carefully placed in the bottom of the last box, were my two Christmas mice, mice that dated back to our earliest Christmas together. I stopped my decorating frenzy, held those inexpensive, ceramic cuties in my hands, and I remembered. I remembered the good years, the dreadfully difficult years, the mountain tops, the deep valleys, the man who has been by my side through it all, and all the miraculous gifts freely bestowed on me. In the midst of my busyness, I took a moment and thanked my Father for the blessings that have filled this home throughout the many years that are now part of our history. I thanked Him for His faithfulness.
I am impressed by how often God urges His children to remember. As an aid to the feeble memory of the children of Jacob, God instituted memorials, such as the Passover celebration, celebrations meant for his people to observe on a regular basis. He urgently wanted them to remember. God had worked miraculously in their lives, freeing them from the slavery of Egypt with supernatural acts meant to display His power and sovereignty. He had defeated their enemies and guided their path, all while providing them with sustenance, safety, and stability. The goal of those memorials was uncomplicated-the act of recalling their past would form the basis for their faith in the present. God works similarly with His New Testament saints. The ordinance of communion was given to us that we might remember the suffering of our Savior, remember the great sacrifice made at Calvary for the redemption of our soul. God gave us a “remembrance” upon which to ponder, an opportunity to strengthen our faith by recalling His past actions on our behalf.
We could all agree that 2020 has been one tough year. I am so thankful that in the midst of this difficult year, God can take two cheap, somewhat tacky mice, and remind me of His faithfulness in my life. The evidences of my Father’s provisions through the span of my years are all around me. He has blessed me richly, given me a strong, stable marriage that has survived the test of time, showered us with beloved children, provided us a home, saved our souls, and allowed us to grow in grace together. As I remember “the former things of old,” my faith is strengthened, and I can boldly state that He “is God, and there is none else…there is none like (Him).”
I placed those mice in clear view this year, and every time I glance their way, I am determined to remember, to allow those simple objects to lead me to the True Object of praise, my gracious heavenly Father. My memory can be as feeble as the Israelites; I am prone to live in the present, with all its problems, headaches, and difficulties. It is then that I forget the provisions and providence of my past. During this holiday season, in the midst of a pandemic that has wreaked havoc and chaos in our lives, perhaps we could find some small object to spur our memory, some simple way to prod ourselves to lift our eyes from this troubled sod and refocus them toward heaven, and then boldly, and with great thanksgiving, “declare (His) mighty acts.”
Psalm 119:55 I have remember thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.
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