A long-time friend described the days surrounding his 90th birthday as “a time . . . to do a little reflecting, looking in the rearview mirror of my life, and spending many hours in what I call ‘The Grace of Remembrance.’ It’s so easy to forget all the ways that the Lord has led! ‘Forget not all His benefits’” (Ps. 103:2).
This was typical of the person I’ve known and admired for more than 50 years. Rather than reviewing disappointments, his letter was filled with thankfulness and praise to God.
First, he recalled the Lord’s temporal mercies—his good health, the enjoyment of his wife and children, the joy and success of work, his enriching friendships, and the opportunities he’d had to serve God. He considered them all gifts—none deserved, but all gratefully received.
Next, he reviewed God’s spiritual mercies—the influence of Christian parents and the experience of God’s forgiveness when he accepted Christ as a teenager. He concluded with the encouragement he’d received from churches, schools, and Christian men who cared and prayed for each other.
It’s a model we should follow on a regular basis—the joy of remembering. “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (v.1).