Weekly Devotions - January 16, 2018
“Then God said to Jacob, ‘Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing your brother Esau’” (Genesis 35:1, NIV 1984).
Went to check on Mom this morning. She is 91, lives alone in the retirement home apartment where she and Dad lived together until he died two years ago. I miss my Dad.
Mom was cheerful today. She has a full-time attendant who had her up and ready when I arrived.
“Your hair looks nice today, Mom.” And it did.
We had a pleasant and mostly oriented conversation, limited a bit by her short-term memory loss. She has been talking lately about moving back to her childhood home in Magnolia, Alabama, never quite grasping that the town has vanished.
She mentioned moving there again and I told her there was nothing there but a place to park her car. She laughed a bit.
“Why don’t you just stay here with us, Mom? Why do you have to go back anywhere?”
She was thoughtful in her reply, “I guess because I came from somewhere.”
How much do I need to remember: “I came from somewhere.”
Each of us came from somewhere. If we lose these roots, we may well lose our direction and lose sight of our destination.
When I was young and going out with my friends, Mom and Dad would often say to me, “When you are out there, don’t forget that you are a Weir.”
Substitute your own name and realize that you were not plucked from the dust but came from a family with character and traditions and faith and principles. For some of us, those roots have made us into the people we are proud to be. For others, we’ve had to overcome those roots to become the people God has wanted us to be—and, in Christ, the overcoming has made us more than we might have been if we had been raised in a perfect home. Some of us are still struggling with our family roots. Others have forgotten them and have become the less because of the forgetting.
We come from families and should never forget or reject the families we came from.
We also have come from spiritual histories. God has done great things in our spiritual lives that we must not forget. Some of us need to travel back into those histories like my mom wants to go back to Magnolia, or like Jacob must return to Bethel (Genesis 35:1-7).
Do I remember the time Jesus came into my life?
Do I remember the sins of my life and how small I am when I walk without Him?
Do I remember that He forgave all of my sins, even the ones I now lie in?
Do I remember the spiritual mentors in my life; am I still thankful for them?
Do I remember the friends who needed Jesus and whether I offered an introduction?
Do I remember the shattered times in my life from which He delivered me?
Do I remember the times of great joy in His presence—where He was so real and present that only He mattered?
Do I remember His call to follow; can I hear Him calling still?
Like my Mom said, “I came from somewhere,” and just now I need to go back and remember.
Help me to remember. Take me back where you can rebuild that of yours that I have lost.