Covid Keeps - Remembering to Remember.

2020 presented us with many new phrases. One I heard recently (which may become one of our 2021 catch phrases) was ‘Corona keeps.’

As we edge hopefully into spring and tread tentatively towards what may finally be a version of ‘normal’, are there things we have learnt, practiced, structured into our lives that we want to keep from our pandemic experience - our ‘Corona keeps’?

I’m sure there is plenty we can’t wait to be shot of but hopefully, amongst the chaos, some gold has been formed which is worth hanging on to.

Under Samuel’s leadership during the time of the judges Israel experienced what we could term ‘revival’: mass repentance, destruction of idols and people hungry to seek God. While Samuel is offering sacrifices on behalf of the people, an attack comes from the enemy. But God is faithful and divinely defeats them. In memory of God’s victory Samuel ‘took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us”’ (1 Sam 7:12).

We are perhaps yet to see the magnitude of revival of Samuel’s day but, personally in the stripping back, the laying bare that God has done with us all this year, idols have been toppled, repentance has come, albeit painfully, and greater desire to seek God has emerged.

There have been miraculous moments in the small and the big, moments that have built faith, taught lessons that have the potential to alter the course of my life, and in a world standing still, an opportunity to connect with God that I have no doubt will be difficult to come by in such an obvious way again.

I for one can say, ‘thus far the Lord has helped us.’

But what of next week, next month, next year?

As we eagerly await the opening up of things and the return to the treadmill, I sense the Spirit asking us this question, “How will you remember to remember?”

There are things that have been walked through, pain that has been felt, loss, and uncomfortable uncertainty that was not for nothing.

‘We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us’ (Romans 5 vs 3-5).

Samuel, along with Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and many more heroes of the Bible built monuments (‘Ebenezers’ – stones of help) to remember God’s faithfulness, answered prayer and deliverance.

As the history books are written with the facts, what can we write/build/do to make sure God’s faithfulness to us as individuals and a people in this season is not forgotten?

In the moment our sight can get clouded with circumstance, but hindsight is 20/20.

When we can’t see him in the present, looking back at what he HAS done helps us to hold on to what he WILL do and continues to build our faith for what he CAN do.

How will you remember to remember?

Emily Williams