The word forgotten has recently weighed heavily on my heart. There is a friend of mine who often says, “You are only as good as your last good deed.” Her statement is so appropriate because it is true. Too often, after you have served out your purpose in life or a position, be it in your home, your church, your job, etc., you can easily be forgotten.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,145,958 people died in the United States from COVID 19 as of September 30, 2023. Now that we are in the post pandemic, I often wonder how many people were simply forgotten during that time. It feels as if we entered a period of isolation and we forgot some of our family members and friends. Could it be that we became so consumed with our own well-being that we just selfishly forgot others? In some cases, it was probably not intentional, but we just got caught up in concentrating on our own households.
The one institution that has a tendency of forgetting people is the Church. Think about it for a moment. A person can attend church, work on committees, pay their tithes and offerings, serve in key positions, yet when they can no longer serve, they are easily forgotten. Not only can a person become forgotten because of discontinuation of service, but let there be a break in attendance from the Church family for a period of time. Think about it for a moment. Are there persons you are accustomed to seeing, but all of a sudden, they are no longer in your presence? You may begin to wonder where they are, but do not put forth a concerted effort to contact them or seek their whereabouts.
Unfortunately, death is one way that we are reminded or remember persons. People have died and the announcement has gone out and we remember the person because of someone else describing the person to us.
It was disturbing recently when I reached out to a person I had not seen or heard from during the pandemic, to only find out she had died. At the funeral service, it was obvious that this person had been forgotten since the beginning of the pandemic. There was a suspicion that not only the church had forgotten the person, but the family had forgotten and neglected the person also. It was sad to believe something like this could happen. The person came to church, worshipped, paid her tithes, served, etc., yet she had been forgotten.
The question this morning is, “Do you feel you have been forgotten by those you love or serve?” If so, regain your confidence in yourself and reach out to those persons who are important to you. In my opinion, the pandemic has put us in a strange place that seems to be difficult to overcome.
I am so glad families are getting back to reunions and traditional gatherings that remind us of the importance of relationships.
Are there times you wake up in the morning and you feel a little down and even depressed because of the loss of loved ones or difficulties in life? After studying the psalms throughout the pandemic, it is realized and promised that God is always with us. Do you ever get that feeling that God has forgotten you?
I would think that there are times that all of us feel alone and abandoned. The prophet Isaiah shared with us those comforting words, “Can a woman forget her nursing child that she should have no compassion on the son or her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
You may feel forgotten by relatives, associates and friends, but remember God will not forget you: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10, NLT)
Even the psalmist David during some dark times and periods of desperation in his life asked the question, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? At the close of this Psalm, David says, “But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.” Psalm 13:1,5-6
When you are feeling lonely, forgotten, abandoned, remember God is with you!
Just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor