Calling to Mind
It’s officially that time of year when people start to celebrate everything from pumpkin spice to turkey laden tables dressed with flannel and fine china. And every year around this time I start to consider the events leading to this point in the season. It’s amazing how packed a year can be with so much life change, surprise, heartbreak, and excitement all rolled up into 365 days. When you consider your recent year, I hope you have bright memories and joy that come to mind, but there are some seasons that can be more challenging to get through. When those come and hang out for longer than we would prefer, we often need something to get us through to the next season of life.
Jeremiah understood what heartbreak was. He saw his country, his people, everything he knew fall to destruction and it broke his heart. Lamentations is a book filled with a sad yet beautiful cry of anguish. He wrote his honest feelings and frustrations out on the page for God and all of us to read. Chapter 3 begins like others, with 20 verses of heartbreak and frustration, but verse 21 truly caught my eye.
“Yet I call this to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;” (Lamentations 3:21-25)
As I was reading these verses I was caught by the determination in these words. He was remembering all the loss and frustrations, the hopelessness he was in the middle of experiencing, yet he didn’t allow his mind to settle there. He “called to mind” and that action brought him hope.
Jeremiah was calling to mind the things he had in his mind to be thankful for. He was bringing hope to a hopeless situation through his thankfulness. He called to mind the Lord’s great love that will not allow us to be consumed, no matter how bad things seemed or how hopeless the night. He remembered the Lord’s faithfulness and spoke encouraging words to himself as a reminder of who he served and who his hope was in.
While this is a simple thought, I fear we forget to call things to mind. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our social media worlds of comparing and overselling that we stop thanking and start praying for something different than what we have.
Jeremiah taught us a valuable lesson in chapter 3 that it is okay to feel, okay to hurt, okay to mourn, but there comes a time when we pick ourselves up off the ground and call a few things to mind. We call to mind that we have hope, that the Lord’s mercy has kept us, that His faithfulness is unending, and that the Lord is our portion and the One in whom we put our hope.
This year as you gather with the ones you celebrate with, take the moment to call to mind some of the blessings that might have slipped through. Whether this year has been packed with blessings or riddled with pain, remember there is power in thankfulness.
So, call it to mind.
Olivia Dummer is a student in Blue Springs, Missouri where Jason Huckaby is her pastor. She writes and keeps an inspirational blog hoping to encourage others and share what she’s learned about God.