When I Remember

When I RememberThe words from the song we sang at summer camp reverberate in my head.

“When I remember that he died for me, I’ll never go back any more, Hallelujah!”

As a staff member singing along with the kids, my favorite part involved the hand motions—all 300 campers and 80 staff members would throw their arms above their heads and wave their hands each time we sang the word “Hallelujah!”—a shocking occurrence for bunch of conservative Christians back in the 80s when praise music and guitars had yet to infiltrate the sanctuaries of the local churches.

But there’s something about the catchy tune that stuck. Jesus. Died for ME. The older I get, the more I realize that I’m a sinner in need of grace. My raised hands answer the question of, “Who needs Jesus?” with a resounding, hand-waving, “I DO!”

“When I remember that he rose again, I’ll never go back any more, Hallelujah!”

The gospel story. So simple, yet so true. Because Jesus died for me and rose again, he broke sin’s grip on humanity. He broke sin’s grip on MY life. I want to pull up a chair and spend time with God—to explore the why, the how, the great love that orchestrated the solution to sin.

“When I remember that he’s coming soon, I’ll never go back any more, Hallelujah!”

That stanza brings me to tears when my heavy heart aches for friends whose loss leaves a gaping hole in their lives. The loss won’t be permanent. Jesus is coming soon. (tweet this)

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Cor. 15:55


Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Beautiful reminder, and very comforting when faced with death. God removes the sting.
    Laura recently posted…Five Tips On Getting Things DoneMy Profile

    • And life is feeling a little stingy right now. I’m having a hard time going on Facebook.

  • Another great post (am your neighbour this week!)…..thanks for the post…thought-provoking and comforting as usual…

  • Thank you for the reminder that loss on this side of heaven isn’t permanent. It’s hard to remember that in the throes of dealing with loss, but it’s such a comfort when I/we can cling to that truth. Great post, Anita.
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Stress: Choosing to BreatheMy Profile

    • I’m writing for myself tonight, too. A friend lost her daughter in a tragic accident. But praise God, her daughter loved Jesus!

  • Loved those camp songs with all the hand motions!! 🙂 So good to be reminded that with Jesus we overcome. Hallelujah!!
    Holly Barrett recently posted…WhenMy Profile

    • They’re the best, aren’t they? I don’t get the whole hymns v. praise music thing. We need music that will speak to us–and different music speaks to different people.

  • I like how you included the song with your writing. I was a child in the 80s so I remember those kinds of songs well. My favorite line that you wrote was, “The loss won’t be permanent. Jesus is coming soon.” I am going to have to write that one down.

    • 🙂 The only permanent thing in life is God’s love.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…The RescueMy Profile

  • What great memories I have of summer camps growing up! Those truths planted in my heart then continue to surface at just the right time.

    Praying for you and your friend this week, that you will sing a “hallelujah” that will cause others to look straight to Jesus.
    asheritah recently posted…When You Wonder How Much Longer This Will Last…My Profile

    • Thank you, my friend. Tiny seeds planted in the summer and blooming for years and years afterwards–that’s summer camp!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…The RescueMy Profile

  • When we overcome with Jesus, we have truly lived! Thank you for these words and for the blessing of one “Halleliujah”! Love you girl!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Five Minute Friday-WhenMy Profile

    • Aw, thank you, Mary! I love you and your words, too :).

  • 1 Corinthians 15 has a special place in my heart. It was a very comforting passage during the last month of my mother’s life. That sting… God will heal it. Slowly and with much time, but God will heal it.

    Melinda recently posted…FMF – WhenMy Profile

    • Amen! I’m so glad God is in the business of healing!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…The RescueMy Profile

  • I’m not much for hallel…uh, hally…heck, I can’t even spell it.

    My faith’s quieter, kind of Zen, but I think about that wonderful scene of Jesus rising at the end of Mel Gibson’s “Passion”.

    Helps me not to worry about stuff.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…When Marriage Turns Boring {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

    • Believe me, I’m not much of a hands-raised-in-the-air kind of person, either–but at summer camp? Well, that’s another story! And yes–Jesus’ triumph over death certainly helps keep me from worrying about ‘stuff’ in this life :).
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…The RescueMy Profile

  • Oh yes… I need this today. Because He IS coming back. And there is such loss… it’s been hitting me so hard this week. So many orphaned children, so much brokenness, so much need for an all-powerful savior.

    Hannah recently posted…|when|My Profile

  • Oh yes. ‘I’ll never go back any more, Hallelujah!’ It’s too easy to forget these foundational truths, and yet they keep us anchored through every storm. Thanks for your words today, Anita.
    Ruth recently posted…Five Minute Friday: WHENMy Profile

  • I’m not familiar with that song, but your post brought back a lot of youth group memories. Wow, was that a long time ago, or what! Such great memories. I was incredibly blessed to be part of an awesome youth group at my church. Blessings, friend.
    Leah Adams recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ WhenMy Profile

    • There’s nothing like a vibrant youth group to create memories and teach us the gospel through songs and relationships!

  • Anita, I love that we each remembered a song for this prompt 🙂 which brought us to very similar thoughts – when we remember. May we always remember the completed & accomplished work of the Cross for each one of us. Amazing. Grateful to have stopped here this morning! Blessings!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…WhenMy Profile

    • :). Amen. Remembering God’s mercies makes our lives so much fuller.

  • I thought of that song too when I read the prompt. Did you sing that added on “no, no, never, never, uhn, uhn, un.” 😉 I’m thinking the best word, though, might be Hallelujah! Good reminders, Anita. Thanks.
    Debby recently posted…Five-Minute Friday {when}My Profile

    • Yep, we sang that part, too :). Hallelujah is such a good word–one that we can sing in the good times, and the bad times.

  • Tara

    It is so hard when our friends are grieving. I also have many fond memories of working at a Bible camp. Something so holy and powerful about singing those words.

  • Amen! Makes me want to sing!

    visiting from FMF
    Donna recently posted…Here and Now| When Five Minute FridayMy Profile

  • And that just about the last line, bold and beautiful, is our hope.

    And all I can say is amen, my friend.

    Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…In Which 12 Single Sisters Speak Truth to the ChurchMy Profile

  • Remembering that nothing this side of heaven is permanant – not the pain, not the sorrow. Thank ypu for reminding me I needed it today.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…Checkbooks Aren’t Accurate Measuring SticksMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you stopped by, Amy! Hugs to you :).