No matter how many years pass, I still see it coming… that marker in time–the sign in the road that says, “God is faithful.”
There are some who want to go around it, avoid it, and forget it ever happened. And to some degree, I understand. But God says otherwise:
“So this day shall be to you a memorial…” (Exodus 12:14).
“Therefore it shall be, when you have crossed over… you shall build an altar to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 4:4-5).
“Then he spoke, saying, ‘When your children ask in time to come, What are these stones? Then you shall let them know… the hand of the Lord, it is mighty, that you may praise the Lord your God forever” (Joshua 4:21-24).
In 2010, our son Benjamin and his friend Cameron SURVIVED a horrific car accident where the vehicle caught on fire, trapping our son in it upside down in his seatbelt. They both managed to escape but bear the scars of it still, so how can we forget?
Therefore I choose to remember that day, June 21st, forever as a reminder that GOD IS FAITHFUL.
One year later, I still cried. The pain of months spent in the hospital watching our son recover from 2nd and 3rd degree burns was still too fresh. I hated that he had to endure that trial.
BUT YEAR TWO, year three, year four, and so on, WAS MUCH DIFFERENT.
And this is exactly why memorials are good! The day finally came when there were no more tears of pain. Instead, our heart sang, “Hallelujah! Look what the Lord has done!”
Throughout the Bible, we are reminded to “Remember the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:1,8:18, 2 Samuel 14:11). Even at the Passover, Jesus told His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of Me…” (Luke 22:19). The disciples had no idea He was asking them to always “remember” –the blood He would shed, and the death He would die — which is not a pretty picture.
But that’s not why He asked them to remember. Jesus knew they would be able to move past it and see the bigger picture. And this means, NOT FORGETTING or AVOIDING the painful markers in life, but instead, FINDING THE GOOD because of our salvation in Christ.
A couple of friends of mine have children who are going through difficult situations right now. I am updated regularly of their journey by Caring Bridge (an online journal for those facing significant health challenges). And through them, I have even begun following other children and parents I don’t know. I regularly pray for all of them. I relate to their journey, because although our circumstances are different, hospitals, treatment care, and concerns are very similar.
I try to tell them often, “Hold in there! Don’t lose faith! God is on your side!” I can tell them this because I have a marker that reminds me. I have chosen not to forget so that others who pass my way can be encouraged on their journey. So I, “Speak of the glory of [His] Kingdom, and talk of [His] power” (Psalm 145:11).
Just two years after almost losing him, our son, Benjamin Tod Delay married Shauntya Claudette Jasper. But what blessed me most about this was the fact that barely four months after his accident, God caused their paths to cross. Tya, as we affectionately call her, never knew Benjamin before the fire. She came into the picture when he was still fighting the fight of his life. But she “saw” him–not the scars, but him–the godly young man who still had dreams of conquering the world and doing great things for God.
This is another reason why I gladly approach this marker with a smile.
None of us could’ve seen what lied ahead when we entered a hospital that would become a temporary home. But what we knew and clung to then was: GOD IS FAITHFUL. We believed, somehow, we would see the victory–and we did!
So now, we have two memorials set very close together. One, a reminder of God’s love, care, and faithfulness; the other, a reminder of–oh yeah–God’s love, care, and faithfulness!
So no matter what you’re facing, cling to God and believe His Word no matter what it feels or looks like at this moment. And if you already have a marker in your life, don’t avoid it. Find the goodness of God in it. Even if your marker is the loss of a loved one, remember His faithfulness to never leave you. Hold on to His promise of eternal life and reuniting us with our loved ones.
Markers on the road of life aren’t meant to be avoided. They are there as a reminder to us of the goodness of God and a sign that His faithfulness is just ahead.