by Graham Mol
On Sunday 24 May, a few minutes before we started the live stream of the Sunday service my wife told me to smile as she took a picture (which you can see included this blog post). After she took the picture I asked her why she had done that to which she simply replied, “For the memories.” I remember being so touched by that. I really appreciated what she had done. As it turned out, this was the last time I preached from my lounge as the lockdown level restrictions on churches would change the following month and we’d be back streaming the services from NHCF again. This part of the adventure, the figuring out how to set this all up and having Candice step in as my “technical team” has ended now but I will always treasure those memories. Never in my life would I have ever thought I’d preach from my own living room!
It seems odd to say that I have memories to treasure from this difficult time we as a nation are facing. I’m not saying that it’s all good, in fact so much of it is really bad, upsetting and traumatic. The pandemic and the lockdown it necessitated have been heavy burdens to bear and I know that many have struggled far more than I could even imagine. Yet in the midst of all the sadness, fear and turmoil, we all have special moments to treasure. The “silver lining” in the dark clouds that is so often spoken about. It is good that we treasure these small blessings. Maybe for you it has been the extra time you’ve spent with your family or the opportunity to really dive deeply into God’s word, enjoying His presence even in the solitude. Maybe you’ve found a new sense of peace in having to slow down, only now acknowledging the frantic, unsustainable pace that was ruling your life.
In Philippians 4:8 Paul has this to say:
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
It is good for us to remember the positive things. To keep hold and treasure those special moments. To look for and appreciate the blessings amidst the storm, the little glowing lights in the gloom. When we humans remember the past, we tend to dwell on the good things and forget the bad. That is why the “old days” always seem to be the “good old days”. While we should heed the wisdom of the Teacher in Eccelsiastes as he says, “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions,” (7:10); it is not necessarily a bad thing that we tend to remember the good rather than the bad. The good things, the treasured moments, can be a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness, goodness and kindness to us. The fact that we don’t remember the bad as much means that those things no longer hold sway over us, bringing us down. So I encourage you to think of the good and to give thanks to God for small mercies, silver linings and hidden blessings amidst the difficulties we face.
Lastly, I’d like to give a “shout out” to Caryl who, by sharing her reflections from her rooftop this morning, inspired me to write about this topic. I can recommend you go check out her video (LINK).