These past few weeks I have been pouring over tons of old photos.
I have always loved taking pictures.
My first camera, when I wasn’t using my parents’ Polaroid, was a Disc camera.
Some of you in my age bracket will remember that one.
But I have adapted with the times, moving through a number of cameras over the years.
From getting my same day prints made at CVS to storing 18,385 precious photos on my IPhone, I have always found a way to capture what is going on around me in the lives of those I love.
It is fair to say that a good number of profile pictures and cover photos of my friends are ones that I have taken.
I’m kind of like the Friend Historian, if you will.
And while I love to just drink in these moments, there have been specific reasons for time spent strolling down memory lane these past weeks to gather pictures.
The first is for putting together slideshows: one for a funeral and another for a farewell.
The second is for creating a picture board for a graduation party of my son and his friends.
Whether you are the moms whose children are graduating, a family who is saying goodbye to a husband and father, or a church who is saying goodbye to a pastor, there has been a common thread sewn into patching these memories together.
We do not walk through this life alone.
From the very beginning, God did not intend for us to walk alone.
He created woman so that man would have someone by his side.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 ESV
In His Word, He tells us that two are better than one,
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV
From hello to goodbye, from celebration to mourning, through good times and bad, our Father instructs us to have the same love for each other as His Son.
“ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2: 2-5 ESV
It gives our heavenly Father joy when we think of each other and do nothing selfishly.
Jesus thought of us when He left the heavenly realms to come to earth to walk among humans.
Even though there are no pictures, we get snapshot after snapshot of who Jesus did life with in His Word.
I am certain if someone had taken pictures, there would have been more than my 18,385.
He was thinking of us when He took our place on that cross.
He did not do anything out of selfish ambition, only out of His great love for us.
There is another common thread that is woven through these photos.
God walks with us through every season of our lives.
Our Creator has known us since the very beginning.
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139: 13 ESV
Somedays I need that reminder.
Maybe you do as well.
In a time when everything feels as if it were changing, the one thing that remains constant is that our heavenly Father is ever present in all of our days.
Friends, may that bring you comfort on the hard days and hope for the future.