Confession time, I am a grumbler. I am a complainer. When things aren’t going my way, I flat out throw a nice toddler fit. Well, I may not necessarily lay on the floor, spin around in a spectacle, but that’s what’s happening on the inside.
When my plans are askew, when the day unravels unexpectedly, when my children don’t respond the way I think they should…toddler fit.
It seems that I forget the goodness of the Lord. It seems I forget the goodness of His grace. It seems that I forget the goodness of life.
It’s beginning to become clearer of why the Lord so often commanded the Israelites to remember.
Remember what He did for them.
Remember the events.
Remember, and tell them to your children.
This word seems to come up a lot lately. Remember.
I first saw it in Exodus when God lead the Israelites across the Red Sea…remember, He said. And be sure to tell this event to later generations.
Another time I recognized it when God used Joshua in a similar event, to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River on dry ground. Remember, and be sure to pass along this event to later generations.
It even comes up when Jeremiah has to proclaim the Israelites exile into Babylon. Remember. Remember the good the Lord has done, and when the Lord does good again, remember.
Even last night, the Lord pricked my memory of this oh so important task of remembering. Once the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, the Lord commanded Moses to do one thing. Write this down…remember.
Why all this talk of remembering? Why all these reminders in scripture to remember? After everything the Israelites experienced, wouldn’t they just remember these amazing events anyway?
Reading through the Bible, I think on how the Israelites seem to be a fickle group, and how easily they throw their toddler fits. One moment they’re passionately on fire for the Lord ready to be His own, the next moment they’re grumbling against Him. Or worse, they’re erecting idols in defiance to Him.
What’s up, Israelites? You just saw God do amazing things, and you’re turning away already?
Oh friends, I can so relate to those fickle Israelites. I wake in the morning, ready to serve Him, ready to honor Him, ready to be in tune with Him throughout the day.
Then something happens.
The children wake up.
The day isn’t what it seems, and I’m grumbling against the Lord.
Why did you give me these kids anyway? Can’t you see how terrible I am at this? Never mind that it was my decision to have children in the first place. This is all God’s fault. It must be His fault.
Or what about that prayer that never worked out the way I wanted it to, leaving a painful hole in my heart? That one, I had no choice in the matter. That one’s all on you, Lord. What about that?
What is the Lord’s response?
Friends, the Lord knew the Israelites were weak, and they needed reminders to remember His goodness. No, to remember His greatness. To remember that He is on their side, to remember that He can conquer all things, to remember that He hears & sees them.
I have a feeling He wants me to remember as well. To remember that He sees me through the unraveling moments. To remember those times when He showed up & acted in a big way even though I didn’t even ask. To remember when He transformed hearts when I thought it impossible.
I don’t know about you, but I do know that I seem to hang on to what doesn’t go my way.
When I don’t like something, when a prayer wasn’t fulfilled to my liking, when I was hurt, I hang on to those moments. For some reason, I want to remember the bad and forget His greatness; to remember the yuck, and forget His grace.
Yet, while remembering His greatness, I can heal from the bad.
While remembering His grace I can walk through the unlovely moments in life.
While remembering His presence, I can be confident in prayer.
While remembering, I can experience His grace.
Has God shown up in your life helping you through challenging moments? How so? How do you remember these times? What do you do to remember these times?