Precious memories, unseen angels
Sent from somewhere to my soul
How they linger, ever near me
And the sacred past unfold.
Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.
Precious father, loving mother
Fly across the lonely years
And old home scenes of my childhood
In fond memory appear.
In the stillness of the midnight
Echoes from the past I hear
Old-time singing, gladness bringing
From that lovely land somewhere.
I remember mother praying
Father, too, on bended knee
Sun is sinking, shadows falling
But their prayers still follow me.
As I travel on life’s pathway
Know not what the years may hold
As I ponder, hope grows fonder
Precious memories flood my soul.
I wanted to pick a hymn that had some tie in to the upcoming Memorial Day. We should take time on this day to pause and remember those heroes that gave their life in defense of our country. I don’t know about you, but I have many family members that served in the military, and a cousin that is currently serving. Many of these folks do not receive the respect and credit they deserve for what they sacrificed for our freedom. If you have an opportunity to speak with someone that has served or is serving in the military over this next weekend, tell them thank you. God has blessed us because of them, and we ought to pray God’s blessings over them.
Now to the hymn. There are a couple of points I think are worth noting in this hymn. The first is the memories of our families, particularly one’s Mom and Dad. I wish that all of us had great memories of our parents. There are lots of positive things my parents taught me, and they are both still an important part of my life as well as a positive influence on my kids. However, for my wife, the memories of her parents, although good, are somewhat darkened by the fact that neither of her parents are alive. Others of you might have had a difficult or non-existent relationship with you parents, and therefore, there aren’t that many positive memories about them. The beautiful thing about the Lord and Scripture is that they remind us we can find positives whatever family situation we find ourselves in. Psalm 68:5 says “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” If you have felt “fatherless” at some point in your life, be encouraged the He promised He would be the Father to the fatherless. In Galatians 4, Paul reminds us that because of Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God. Who could have a better Father than that? I have heard it said before, God has no Grandchildren. We are His kids, and He loves us. Whether our family situation is great, and whether or not we have fond memories of our parents or grandparents, we can all be glad we are a part of “The Family of God” (another hymn for another day).
Second thing I want to encourage you to do is “Remember.” Often times in the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to remember. Remember His commandments. Remember what your forefathers did, or didn’t do. Remember how I brought them out of Egypt. Many times the children of Israel forgot God, and what He had done for them. Part of His command in Deuteronomy 6:7 was to teach your children the Word and His commandments. He told them to write it on their hearts. Put it on your doorposts. Make it a frontlet between your eyes. This practice, still common today in Orthodox Judaism, was not supposed to be a ritual, but a reminder – Do not forget God. I think it is important to use days like Memorial Day to discuss with our children and our family members some of our family’s history, and honor the military people that were in our families. More importantly, though, we ought to take this opportunity to remember what God has done for us personally, and for our nation. Tell those that are important to you about God’s grace and goodness to you individually. Make “Precious Memories” this Memorial Day that you can think back upon as you grow older. Don’t forget the people that have influenced your life positively.
P.S. This is a small, but no less meaningful, thank you to the military people that I have known. I wanted to thank them publicly in case they see this email.
Don Mowery (my Dad – Army), David Widener (my late Grandfather – Army), Kay Mowery (my uncle – Air Force), Bill Holbert (my late uncle – Army), Bill Moody (my uncle – Army), Billy Moody (my cousin – Army), Gerald Red Elk (my uncle – Army), and Scott McCoy (coworker and friend – Marines). Thank you for all that you did in service to our country. It is greatly appreciated..