A Day to Remember
Joshua said to them: "Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder…and these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever."–Joshua 4:5-7
A memorial forever, Joshua said. That means that this day, when the Lord provided a miracle for the children of Israel, will be remembered for all eternity.
Today we stop to thank God for the men and women who have served our country, many giving their own lives for our freedom and safety. In our fast paced world, we need moments to stop and think, and remember what’s important. Milestones in our lives, times when God answered prayers, people who impacted us— and especially people who gave themselves for us. If we don’t take the time to remember, we can easily fall into despair when things are hard, and forget who God is and how much He loves us. We can forget the people He has given us to bless our lives – people we know, as well as strangers who lay down their lives for the good of us all.
Psalm 42 is a classic example of depression, disappointment, and heartache being helped by remembering. First the psalmist says, “O my God, my soul is downcast within me.” Read the whole psalm and you’ll see that this was not just a mild case of the blues, but the story of a man drowning in sorrow, weeping in the night, despairing of life. “O my God, my soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you,” he says. He stops to remember God’s goodness and mercy. He begins to see light in the darkness. He remembers.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who served us, those whom God provided to give us freedom. A day to help us thank God for our blessings, and to vow never to forget. A day for memorials so that we can tell our children about the sacrifices of others, and the goodness of the Lord.