I spent most of a decade living as a missionary in the tropics.

Remember when I never felt cold? I expected to constantly bathe in sweat and dust. I never wore jeans or hooded sweatshirts. I never snuggled up under a blanket.

Remember when I constantly worried about scorpions and drug lords? Remember when I never felt good enough or successful enough? Remember when my infant screamed and screamed and my days were a constant blur of noise mixed with frustrating, numbing inaction? Remember when people came to me with problems way above my pay grade? Remember when I carried the weight of that pain and frustration on my shoulders?

I do. I remember.

Here and now, when life makes more sense, when I feel more fulfilled in what I do, when my daily objectives are more clearly defined, when my children have logically resolvable issues, when life is easier, calmer, quieter, stronger, safer… Here, now, it is important that I remember how I never felt cold. Because tonight when the crisp autumnal wind caresses my cheeks, I appreciate the night chill. I remember.

The past month has been difficult. I know that many are facing disaster. I know that hard times and suffering are very real.

You who suffer, remember. Remembrance fuels hope.

Psalms 77:7-12

7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”