Don't Forget to ...
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. … Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
Whoever invented Post-it® Notes is my hero. Really. Truly.
If you came to my home, you would see at least one of these self-adhesive squares of paper somewhere, in some room, on some surface. At. All. Times. As my mind is aging, I really need all the help I can get to remember what I'm supposed to do. Where I'm supposed to go. Who I'm supposed to be with. And at what time.
Just yesterday, I wrote "Don't forget to bring in the cyclamens!" on a note and stuck it to my bathroom mirror to remind me to bring these little potted plants inside before the temperatures dipped below freezing overnight. It's safe to say I would have forgotten them had I not put this visual reminder to myself in a prominent place where I would see it (hello ... a mirror is a gal's best friend, yes?).
I use Post-it® Notes to remind me of other important things as well: grocery lists, chores, people to call, inspiration for writing projects and more. I'm so thankful that I have a found an effective way to get my attention so that I will take action and complete these tasks. These little scraps of paper are invaluable in reminding me and keeping me focused every day.
Back in Bible times, there weren't any of these types of handy-dandy items per se, but the people definitely had their own ways of remembering. Altars were built, geographical landmarks were given special names and temple ceremonies and family observances and rituals were constant reminders of where people had come from, what God had done, was doing and would do, and what his purposes were in their lives.
In Deuteronomy 8:1, Moses exhorted the Israelites not to forget what the Lord had done in bringing them through the wilderness:
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years … He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna … Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years … For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and the hills … a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing … When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God. …
Oh, how easy it is to forget when we get to the other side of a test or a trial in our lives! We all do it, yes? We quickly close the chapter on what was uncomfortable and painful. On what made us unhappy. On what caused us fear or doubt or unrest.
And oh, how all of us would do well to look back with grateful hearts and thank the Lord for leading us through these "wilderness" times in our lives. For guiding us. For sustaining us. For not giving up on us when we gave up on him.
Whether you are in the wilderness today or if you are experiencing a time of prosperity in a "good land," let us remember who God is and what he has done, and what he is doing and promises to do in our lives in the days to come. Praise him and purpose not to forget!
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Perhaps a particularly painful or trying time period in your life came to mind as you read the words above today. How did you feel then? And how do you feel now? List out the ways that God provided for you then and how he has blessed you since. Praise him for leading you and providing for you whether in times of plenty or want as you remember his blessings in your life.