Proverbs 10:7 – “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.”
Before writing today’s devotional I decided to take a few minutes to ponder and research the question: “What is memory?” My computer, iPad and cell phone all have a limited capacity for memory [some of you might remember when a 40 mega-bite hard drive was standard fare for a home PC…talk about limited capacity!]. The scientific community defines human memory with terms like physiological, neurological and neurons. We all have a mental capacity to remember; however, our memories have limitations and often inaccuracies in details [we think we remember something, but our recollections are shaped by an immature perspective].
Regardless of how you might define memory, memories are an enriching facility God has given to man. We cherish some memories and they stir within us thoughts and feelings as vivid as the day they touched our hearts. Other memories bring the weight of disappointments, sorrows and hurts we would like to forget.
Today’s devotional is appropriate on this day before Mother’s Day when many are reflecting on cherished memories of their youth and a beloved mother. My wife and I are blessed to have our moms an email, phone call or Facebook posting away!
Proverbs 10:7 draws a contrast between the lasting legacy of the saints and the name of the wicked soon buried and forgotten. The “memory of the just” implies those saints whose legacy continues to enrich our lives long after they are in the presence of the Lord. There are too many saints for me to name all those who have touched my life with memories I cherish; however, I do want to memorialize a few on this eve before Mother’s Day:
Sadie Whitley, my maternal grandmother who loved to serve her family and, only when my grandfather passed away, did she surrender to the cancer that had consumed her body; Frances Hudson, Sheilah’s grandmother who was always the picture of biblical joy, optimism, grace and love; longtime members Gladys Todd and her sister Georgia Finney whose unconditional love for family and church is sorely missed; Ruth Arnett—her simple life and passionate love for the Lord is still vivid in my memory; Marcie Brokaw, a dear friend and loyal secretary whose brave battle with cancer never quenched her love for the Lord and Hillsdale Baptist Church; Ernestine Wise whose life was a testimony of grace refined by physical trials; charter member Frances Linderman who modeled a lifetime of faithful service; Audrey Snyder and her “messenger” Miriam Davis who, together blessed so many lives. This list is not exhaustive, but serves as a reminder of the cherished memory of the saints who have touched my life.
A contrast to the saints whose memory we cherish is the “name of the wicked [whose names] shall rot” (10:7b). I am a veteran sleuth when it comes to exploring cemeteries. I have visited many century-old cemeteries where relatives continue to tend the graves of family members long since passed on…their memories cherished and their lives not soon forgotten. However, the wicked die, leaving no legacy and their graves are soon left untended and grown over…infested by weeds and often caving in with age and neglect. Why? They are the graves of the forgotten.
My friend, you might be the “life of the party” now, but your name may die with you and your grave be forgotten and neglected! The righteous are not forgotten and loved ones will remember them with fondness and cherish their memories long after they part this life.
What kind of legacy are you going to leave behind? How will you be remembered?