Over the passage of time have you ever lost an old friend or loved one due to death, or because the two of you became separated by a great distance, or maybe you just drifted apart as can easily happen when time brings changes and your lives take different directions as life becomes busier and the years fly quickly by—until suddenly one day you realize you really ‘miss’ someone who was once very close and important to you. I find myself having that same sentiment now about my country, the United States of America. That is, I have sentimental thoughts about my country I have known over the last several decades, until recently. Before now, I always felt the same way about my country as I did my older brothers—they were always there to defend and protect me against all kinds of dangers and troubles, but I certainly don’t feel that way about my country anymore. Most days now I feel like my country is trying to do me more harm than good. Observing the worsening condition of my beloved country right before my eyes is similar to watching an old friend or loved one suffering from dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, gradually slip away from you. You still love them with all your heart, but you can feel them slipping away from you day by day, and that is exactly the feeling I now have about my country as I watch it go into literal ‘decline’ in so many, many ways day after day after day.
I wrote the following poem some time ago in remembrance of many special people who came in and out of my life over the years. Now I find myself reminiscing about yet another dear friend who is leaving for some un-Godly destination. My country I have known for all these years is going away—never to return. So, today I am rededicating this poem to my departing country, as I take yet another sentimental journey in my mind over the departure of a longtime friend I dearly love. The poem title is ‘Precious Memories of You.’
Precious memories of you will never fade away
I remember our days together as though they were yesterday
And as long as life endures, I will always think of you
No matter where I go, and no matter what I do
I will cherish those precious memories of you
When I think of past times and how it used to be
A heartwarming feeling comes streaming over me
And when I think of the laughs and the dreams we had
Of all the good times and even some of the bad
I fondly recall those precious memories of you
We were once together, but time has since brought change
Without you here today, you know it sure is strange
And even though right now, when today can seem rather sad
It’s the times when I think back, that make me feel glad
To have those precious memories of you
But now I realize, no matter how hard I might try
I will never keep time from rolling on and passing by
So to treasure those great times I had with you
Is the only thing left now for me to do
And be thankful for those precious memories of you.
Yes, sadly the America we knew is leaving us, but dear Christians take heart, because we have always known this earthly sphere is not our permanent home. The day is coming when God is going to take all His children to our Heavenly home. One day Jesus Christ will appear above the earth in a ‘cloud of glory’ and we will be caught up in the air with Him in the ‘twinkling’ of an eye, when with a ‘shout’ Jesus will command the Christians, both dead and alive, to “COME FORTH”!!! That glorious event is termed ‘The Rapture’, and until that ‘unknown’ day when ‘The Rapture’ comes to pass, Christians can obtain their current comfort and strength for all things from the scriptures found in the Bible.
Even though our human circumstances always seem to change with the passage of time, it is so comforting and reassuring to know that God will always be here with us. God tells us in His biblical scripture, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) Friends and family may come and go, but God will always be there for us!
And it is God, and only God, who is our fortress and rock at all times. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.” (Psalm 46: 1-2) Yes, as Martin Luther wrote, ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God.’
Should our country continue to change for the worse and eventually ‘hate’ all of us Christians who have loved our country for such a very long time, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
Let your requests be made known to God
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension
Shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7)
The following verses are credited to Frances de Sales (1567-1622) based on Philippians 4: 6-7.
Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear.
Rather, look at them with full hope that, as they arise,
God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them.
He has kept you hitherto; hold fast to His dear hand,
And He will lead you safely through all things;
And when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.
The same everlasting Father, who cares for you today
Will take care of you tomorrow, and every day.
Either He will shield you from suffering,
Or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.