“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”
It is truly difficult for me to remember what life was like before early March. However, I have learned in my walk with Christ that we are always called to remember. We must remember in order to see His faithfulness, to have hope. We must remember what we have forgotten. Therefore, as time in Utah comes to a close and new beginnings are approaching, I thought I would take this time to remember what the Lord has allowed us to experience, what He has taught us, and ways He continues to reveal Himself to us.
I think back to winter and the beginning of ski season. What a joyous time full of laughter. The Lord used ski season to teach me how to let loose and enjoy life a little more while also showing me that I have limits. Nothing will do that to you like beginning the first day on the bunny slope at Brighton and ending the last day of the (cut-short) season on a double black chute followed by a few runs in the terrain park--also at Brighton. What a gift ski season was in its highs, lows, and yard sales (that’s a ski term--look it up). What a fun way to enjoy fellowship with those you love.
I think about January and February. We all heard January in Salt Lake can be far from fun, and man, did we feel it. We began the month with a fulfilling retreat at Bear Lake preparing for what God had in store for the last 5 months of Fellows. We all suffered in different ways in January, but we endured. We endured because we leaned into each other, into the community God has gifted us. It was hard, but it was good. February brought snowshoeing adventures, unforgettable ski days, and more fellowship together. I was even able to run a half-marathon outside the gates of Zion National Park with several of my closest friends from college and Fellows. What a gift.
March and April brought a lot of loss. Everybody in the world experienced it and continues to experience it. We experienced loss of people, loss of experiences, loss of normalcy, loss of graduations, loss of closure, loss of what could have been. In all, we experienced an utter loss of control--that is, if we ever thought we had control in the first place. We were humbled, we were brought low. We were forced to sit, to wait, to rest, to simply “be.”
As Fellows, we are still grieving the loss of time together during the most stunning time of year in Utah. Little did we know we would all gather together for the last time on March 16. TRULY little did we know that two days later we would be jolted out of bed a little after 7:00am by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake. Over 1,700 aftershocks have followed that initial earthquake. Many of them we have not felt, many of them we have. Even as forgetful as humans tend to be, I don’t think any of us are going to forget March and April of 2020.
Therefore, as I remember what I have forgotten and reflect on what will not leave my mind, I am struck by how much we have grown. I am struck by the reality that growth cannot come through comfort and is intimately tied with suffering. But growth is good. Growth draws us to the Trinitarian God--Father, Son, and Spirit. Growth, though hard, is a gift. What I have grown to remember and believe over the past eight months is that we are utterly dependent upon Him, and His ways are not our ways. Through the highs and the lows, the pain and the wrestling, I have been brought to a place of awe and wonder.
Think about our dependence and His ways…
When I am at the top of a mountain, He humbles me. When I experience insurmountable pain, He lifts me up. When I am numbed by the mundane of life, He reveals glimpses of the big picture through little moments. When I forget, He prompts me to remember. When I am stuck, He allows me to forget. When I do not deserve grace, He gives it abundantly. When I lose sight of my depravity, He breaks me with His overwhelming glory. While life is a rollercoaster, He is remarkably consistent. I am fragile and insignificant, but He is solid and Lord. I do have basic needs, but He is the eternal answer. We are all broken, but he is Holy. We have no control, but He is God. We deserve nothing, but He is everything. Life is hard, but it is a good gift.
Remembering this time in Utah reminds me of His perfection, His mystery, and that He is everything we need but will never deserve. I know He allowed us to enjoy the highs of the past eight months. He walked with us through the mundane. He spurred us on in times of suffering. He is our source of growth, He is the constant, and we must depend on Him.
In all, yes, we will always forget and try to do it on our own, but we must remember. When we remember, we are reminded that He does not forget, and He will not leave. We are reminded to praise Him always. We are reminded there is no one more deserving, more worthy of praise. We are reminded it is by grace that we have the opportunity to be utterly dependent upon Him. We are reminded His way is The Way. We are reminded to proceed expectantly into the unknown knowing The Way has gone before us.
We are reminded--and may we never forget.
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” -1 Peter 1:3-9
Salt Lake Fellows Collaborative