I’ll go ahead and admit it. I’m forgetful.
My wife, Lindsay, on the other hand, has a memory so good she should wear a ballcap that has blinking LED’s and a Wester Digital logo on it (only you computer geeks will understand this joke).
It seems like she always remembers the important stuff. Like people’s names, birthdays, special occasions and what day of the week any random, upcoming, date falls on.
Me, not so much.
What Did I Just Forget?
I’ve always wanted to be great at remembering names and such but what I have found is unless I write it down or mentally insert it into some scenario, I have a 76.32% chance of entirely forgetting.
While I’m hard on myself about my forgetfulness I think partly it’s in our human nature to forget things we don’t interact with on a daily basis.
I can remember when I worked in the software industry I could whip together a spreadsheet that would make your screen melt from all its macro-enacting glory. With one button press, I could suck in months worth of data, process it and spit out one nicely formatted number that I swear glowed a bit brighter than the rest of the screen.
But at that time, I worked with spreadsheets daily. They were a continual altar of remembrance to my well-honed geeky skillset. Today, however, it would take me a couple hours to remember all the methods I used to create such organized numerical bliss.
We forget what we don’t focus on.
For some things, that is an awesome trait. For instance, if you have been hurt and are trying to forgive someone it can be helpful to not dwell on the pain and instead on the mercy we all need. If we focus on forgiveness then that helps us to focus less on the anger we might have from being hurt.
On the other hand, it can also be a very detrimental trait.
Especially when it comes to remembering how much God loves us.
I’m convinced this is a root cause for so many Christians losing hope in the church and even God today. Over enough time of heartache, disappointment, and grief they have come to believe God just doesn’t love them the way they thought.
I know what you are thinking. Come on Brandon, I know God loves me.
The Significance of Remembering
My point is I think we know these words but we forget their significance.
We forget how deep real love is willing to go.
Take for instance the Israelites. God had just brought them out of Egypt, parted waters, and rescued them from a madman with a vengeance and a tall shiny hat.
And then what is one of the first things He tells them to do.
Moses tells the Israelites to be careful not to forget the Lord your God. They are then, later, instructed to take 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan and bring them up to the bank, where they are camping and build an altar.
We forget what we don’t focus on.
Now, in our culture, we don’t think all that much about altars but they are all around us. Sometimes they come in the form of digital reminders popping up on our phone and other times they are small trinkets that to anyone else, would only be trash but to us hold deep sentimental attachment to a memory from our past.
Altars remind us of the things that are important.
He Heard Their Cries
The Israelites altar wasn’t there to just remind them of what he did but to remind them that their God heard their cries and rescued them from their slavery and themselves.
It was there to show the relentlessness of a Father to pursue his children and the limitless boundaries he would undertake to do so. Altars remind us of not only who our God is but His heart toward us. They remind us because we forget and it’s when we forget Gods love for us that we no longer feel connected to Him and we begin to drift away.
My hope for you, today, is you remember to look at your 12 stones and remember God’s relentless heart toward you. That you remember how loved and cherished you are in His eyes. My hope is that if you doubt His love you will return to your 12 stones and remember what He has done in your life to prove His love for you and when you leave you take a piece of His heart with you to give to someone else.
My hope is when you look at your altar of remembrance you don’t just remember what God has done but remember that He hears you and responds. He is relentless in His love toward you and wants nothing more than to spend His time walking in the cool of the day, sipping lemonade and sharing stories. He is a God who desires a relationship with you and wants you to remember that.