Memorial Day has special personal significance for me as I remember my grandmother, “Baba,” who went home to be with the Lord on this holiday when I was fourteen years old. She loved her family sacrificially, enduring many hardships as a young wife, leaving her home and country to begin a new life with her husband, to raise my mother and then me. She was a true Proverbs 31 woman in her generosity, industriousness, and character, and I cherish the Godly legacy she left me as a model of faith (Hebrews 11), charity (1 Corinthians 13), prayer, and service.
Tangible reminders of Baba highlight my life, from photographs on the foyer table and in albums, to tea towels she hand embroidered in the Ukraine, to a print of the Lord’s Supper that adorned her bedroom wall, and even to my medical school diploma, representing the education she helped finance through her thrift and keen business sense.
As we celebrate Memorial Day in the United States, we remember our fallen troops who paid the ultimate price to protect our freedoms, and we thank them for their faithful service. By giving their lives, they showed the self-sacrificing love epitomized by Jesus Christ, Who laid down His life to save His friends (John 15:13).
Jesus paid it all to bring peace between sinful man and holy God (Colossians 1:20). He became sin for us even though He was pure (2 Corinthians 5:21), holy and sinless (Hebrews 7:26), the perfect Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He rose again from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), proving that He is the Son of God and God Himself, so that all who trust Him as Lord and Savior have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Remembrances of God’s love, faithfulness and provision also abound in the lives of His children. First and foremost, we have His recorded Word (2 Timothy 3:16), His love letter to us explaining where we came from, His instructions for how to live a fulfilled life pleasing to Him (Proverbs, Psalms), and His plans for our future (Jeremiah 29:11). Throughout the Bible we learn of tangible reminders of His goodness.
The Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandments inscribed in stone (Deuteronomy 31:26; 1 Kings 8:9), a golden pot of manna that God provided to feed His children in the wilderness, and Aaron’s rod that miraculously budded with almond blossoms (Hebrews 9:4). Men of God built altars and used Ebenezer stones (Joshua 4:7-24; 1 Samuel 7:12) to remember, honor and praise God for His deliverance.
If we look at our own lives, there too are numerous emblems of God’s blessings. Our spouse and children are answers to prayer for loved ones to fill our daily lives with love, joy, purpose and meaning (Psalm 127:4; Genesis 25:21; Proverbs 18:22; 19:24). Our dwelling, possessions, clothing and food represent God’s fulfilled promise to provide for our daily lives (Matthew 6:33; Psalm 37:25). Treasured mementos, photographs and letters remind us of the legacy left by our loved ones, and how God enabled us to achieve the goals and dreams He planted in our heart (Ephesians 2:10).
Notes written in our Bible, in a prayer journal, or in our hearts prove God’s faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23; Psalm 36:5; 89:1-2)) over and over as He answers prayer in the best possible way, with His perfect timing, working all things together for our ultimate good, for the good of others, and for His glory (Romans 8:28). May we remember the name of the Lord our God, His works and wonders (Psalm 20:7; 77:11), and His Word (John 12:16; 16:4).
As we visit the graves of fallen heroes on Memorial Day and beyond, decorating them with flags and flowers, we remember their service and sacrifice. May we also never forget God’s mercy, grace, and goodness (Hebrews 4:16), from the cross of Jesus Christ, Who died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), throughout our Christian walk, and His recorded promise to bring us home at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) to live with Him and our loved ones in Him throughout eternity!
© 2018 Laurie Collett