This a line from a “kids” movie. And I can’t believe I’m bawling like a baby. But what this young boy said to his class, at the end of the movie, is so true “he taught me that you should never forget anyone that you love.” This is one of the last scenes in the movie “Hachi.” It is the story of a very loyal dog. It is based on a true story of this faithful friend that waited at the train station for his owner for over 9 years. Until the day of his death Hachi watched for his master because he never got off that train after dying of cardiac arrest at work one day.
Today is Memorial Day, a day for remembering. Not that we don’t do it all through the year, but today is especially poignant for me. You see today is my late brother’s birthday, and Memorial Day at the same time. Whenever I’m in a place where tears come too easy and I am longing for my heavenly home, I want to visit his grave. Not that he is really there, just his body underneath, yet it is one of the most peaceful places on this earth to me. He “rests” there.
I remember him as one of the sweetest souls on earth. Not just because he was my brother, but because he truly was. He was a good man, who tried his best to serve his God and his family, and when his time was short, he was full of gratitude for his life of 53 years and a few months. He suffered much and left quietly. There is great comfort knowing that he is in heaven, enjoying his reward. That is how it is for those who know Jesus as their personal Savior.
Memorial Day was first declared a day to remember our fallen soldiers. Those that died protecting our freedoms. I am so grateful for them as well. So thankful for those who continue to serve without knowing if they will have to make that sacrifice. Not knowing if they will return home to their loved ones. My son-in-law experienced this. He returned from a year of deployment just a short time ago and we are all so grateful that he was protected during those days on the other side of the world.
Some of you reading this may have lost a loved one during military service, or a loved one because of illness or injury, or maybe because they just “wore out.” It hurts the same. Remembering them is the best thing you can do. Remember their voice, their smile, their touch. Their faith. By remembering, we still are connected to them. They continue to have an influence on our lives and we can experience comfort from that.
One scripture that comforts me when I just don’t think I can quit crying is this:
“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!””
Because God is merciful, He will keep all that sorrow from consuming us. We do not have to lose hope or joy. The prophet that penned this book in the Old Testament was Jeremiah. He had a heavy burden, he was in a place of heavy persecution, yet he had hope. And so do we.
“My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” (vs. 20-21) and “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him. To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” (vs. 25-26)
The promise of heaven and being reunited with those we loved here on earth is our hope. Meanwhile, remember them, wait patiently for the time when you will be with them again. And be thankful, because great is His faithfulness.