Saturday, October 14, 2017

When Telling our Story Reminds Us of the Miraculous


Yesterday, I visited with three ladies who have lived in this area for decades. Over Turkish coffee and sweets, they shared fascinating stories of their lives, including experiences during the Six Day War in 1967 and the war in the 1970's. 

Toward the end of our time together, one lady suddenly remembered something remarkable. She spoke in rapid Arabic to her sister, who turned to me with a surprised look on her face. "Oh, yes," she said in English. "Miracles did happen back then. You're right." 

Many years ago, her sister was terribly sick with kidney failure. The doctors admitted her to the hospital and attempted treatment, but nothing helped. After a few days, they stopped everything they were doing and gave her the grim news. "You're not improving. You're going to die."

One of the nurses in the hospital couldn't bear the thought that this young woman was terminal. She summoned everyone to the chapel to pray for a miracle. They begged God to heal her, then waited to see what He would do.

Two days later, the sister's kidney function returned to normal, despite the fact that all treatment had been stopped. 

She was completely healed.

"How did you forget something so miraculous?" I asked her.

She shrugged. "It was a long time ago..." she told me, her voice trailing off. 

I can't get their words out of my mind. The memory of a major miracle faded to insignificance by the passage of time. They'd stopped retelling the story and simply forgot.

The ladies sat up a little straighter after they shared their miracle, their smiles spread across their faces. The joy of the Lord was renewed by recounting His great and mighty deeds.

Although there are definitely benefits to a written history instead of an oral one, retelling of stories of God's goodness serves an important function. It helps us remember His blessings, preserves our sense of wonder at the divine work in our lives, and fills our hearts with gratitude.

King David wrote about the importance of remembering the forgiveness, healing, redemption, lovingkindness, compassion, and blessings we've received from God. An amazing thing will happen when we recall God's goodness. Our youth will be "renewed." 

The word translated as renewed implies "polishing" or "cutting," much as one might polish and sharpen a sword. The process of remembering, in a way, renews the sharpness of our spirits and our minds and restores a youthful freshness.

If we want to be youthful in heart, even when our bodies are old, the solution is simple. Be diligent to remember the blessings of God.

Today, let's spend some time remembering all the good things God has done for us, His blessings, His miraculous interventions in our lives. As we savor our sweet memories, let's also share those blessed memories with someone else so that they, too, can be encouraged.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits...so that your youth is renewed like the eagle." (Ps 103:2, 5) 
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In case you missed the most recent post, here the link: Getting Rid of the Excuses and Pressing On 

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