Cue Andy Rooney’s voice: “Didjya ever wonder” if part of Adam and Eve’s original sin was forgetfulness—if the fall of man was due to Adam and Eve choosing to seek Satan’s deception and instant gratification over remembering all that God had already given to them?
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]But God didn’t say to remember His love so that my life would be easy – He told us to remember that He would give us a full and satisfying life.[/pullquote]Yes, it seems as if our predecessors passed their poor memories on to the rest of us. I’m not talking about diseased memories, such as those that occur due to dementia; I’m talking of the free will to forget, if you will. I would love to blame ol’ Adam and Eve for their part in the brokenness of the world, but darn it. I probably would have done the same as they did. How can I even write that? Because I do the same as they did. I forget. More on that in a sec. As I peruse stories of the Old Testament, I often read of memorials that God told his people to build, SO THEY WOULD REMEMBER how He intervened, provided, saved, comforted, and guided them. I read through the New Testament and see Jesus’ own words to remember Him and His life and sacrifice. I read Paul’s exhortations to remember who we are and Whose we are. Seems God knew his people would, by their own devices, forget all he had done for them, sooner or later. The word “remember” is used 219 times in the New Living Translation Bible! Now, I realize that some of those references aren’t exact directives from God to remember, but so many are. Here are just a few:
- So Moses said to the people, “This is a day to remember forever—the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today theLord has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand. (Remember, eat no food containing yeast.) Exodus 3:13 NLT
- When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of theLord instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. Numbers 15:39 NLT
- Remember how theLord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2 NLT
- Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Matthew 15:9 NLT
- Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! Luke 17:32 NLT
- In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying,“This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 1 Corinthians 11:25 NLT
Honestly, I need to be daily in my Bible, because, even though I desperately want to remember to walk in God’s will, listening for the whisper of Holy Spirit, in constant conversation with Jesus, I don’t. I’m getting better (thank you, sanctification process), but boy, do I have a long way to go. In short, I forget how much God loves me, and then it all goes downhill from there. I forget from what I’ve been rescued by a life with Jesus, and I forget to live this truth for others to see, as a city on a hill. I forget to love on others the way He loves on me—with mercy, faithfulness, and immeasurable self-sacrifice. I forget to count it all as joy when problems come my way, and in my anger and frustration, I throw a tantrum act out, whether overtly or not. Then I have to sit, stuck in my dirty diaper for a while until the Holy Spirit gently convicts me that YES, I need Him, and YES, it’s time to agree with Him that I messed myself, and YES, I want and need His forgiveness. Again.
Just recently, I was so angry (righteous) with some folks that I wanted to wash my hands of them (soooo not righteous). But you know what that behavior says? “You’re no longer worth my time and energy. I am conditional with my love and acceptance where you’re concerned.” Bah. Satan 1, Gretchen 0. After sitting in my foul stench for a while, I prayed and wept. I confessed to God that I didn’t want anything to do with them. It would be better for all of us if I just moved forward and kept away from them and they from me. Well, that would certainly be easier, I grant you. But God didn’t say to remember His love so that my life would be easy – He told us to remember that He would give us a full and satisfying life. So, yeah. I prayed for forgiveness, am still listening for how to move forward in this situation. I’m trusting God to never let go as I dust myself off and try again. Oh, how grateful I am that God has never washed His hands of me or left me behind. And because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, He never will. Satan 0, God WINS. Gretchen wins, by grace.
Thank You, Jesus, that you never forget. Never stop forgiving. And never let me go. Thank You for Your Word, which is all the reminding I need to stay close to you, and to remember what You have done for me. May I be a living memorial of Your grace. In Your precious name I pray. Amen.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have to the full. ~ John 10:10 NIV