06 Sep REMEMBER
Our human nature seems to have a proclivity to remember. We remember birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions. We fill up photo albums (or in this day and age, smartphones) with moments we have captured because we want to remember. To remember how cute your little one looked when they were covered in chocolate icing with that mischievous smile on their face. To remember a night out with some of your closest friends and the amazing chocolate dessert you all shared. To remember that breathtaking sunset that you know will never look as good on camera as it did in real life. We are all about collecting moments to remember, carrying them along with us through life, like little pebbles gathered on the seashore.
I believe this natural tendency to remember is by design. God, who constantly looks down and remembers us, wants to be remembered by us. Not just on Sunday mornings, but in every aspect of our lives. The book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ last address to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land. After 40 years of wandering, they were about to taste and see all the promises that God had made to them through His covenant with Abraham and Moses. Yet Moses calls them to remember how much the Lord had already done for them. In chapter 1:31 he says, “And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now He has brought you to this place.”
Often times God uses the barren wastelands of our lives to draw us closer to Him. In the places where we are helpless, without hope, weary and weak, our Heavenly Father steps in and carries us through. Sometimes He carries us kicking and screaming, sometimes He holds us close to His chest and shields us from the full reality of our circumstances, and sometimes He just holds us – stroking our cheeks and wiping our tears as He sees us through to the other side. He doesn’t always bring us through these deserts the way we would expect – there are often round-about routes, treacherous trails, and perilous paths. But after He brings us out, whether it’s to mountain peaks or still, calm waters, we can see just how He carried us, just how He provided, just how He never once let us walk alone. He is faithful, and remembering His faithfulness draws us nearer to Him and equips us to trust Him through the next wilderness.
So what are the stones of remembrance, the Ebenezers, in your own life? Make a mental list! Write them down! And start praising God for ALL He has done – for the deserts He has carried you through, the Red Sea roads He made when you thought there was no other way, the pillars of smoke that lead you into lands of promise. The story God is writing for you does not end when you accept Him as your Savior – it’s just the beginning! Let us not be like the Israelites, who in the very next verse Moses says, “But even after all He did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.” Instead, let us always remember what the Lord has done throughout each and every peak and valley He brings us through!