We value the experiences we have with loved ones and therefore cherish the memories. So we take pictures, we keep diaries, and we make videos because we don’t want to forget the people or experiences.
Years ago, my husband and I started a prayer journal. We would write all kinds of prayer requests in it and when the request was answered we would write the date and the answer. This journal allows us to look back on all that the Lord has done even when the answers were not what we had hoped for.
The story of Israel is one of God’s mighty works. He had protected and provided for His people in miraculous ways. God knew that His people had short memories, so He wanted them to have something tangible (the twelve stones) that would help them remember His faithfulness, power, and care. And it wouldn’t be something just for the people who were there. God wanted them to keep their memories sharp so that they could testify, to their children and grandchildren, of God’s amazing works on their behalf.
We all struggle to remember what God has done for us, and that spiritual memory loss often shows itself in complaining. Complaining reveals a heart that has forgotten what God saved you from and where He is taking you.
We need to get back to remembering.
Remember where you came from.
When we complain, we are saying that we are not satisfied with what God has for our life or for our day. We are saying that we deserve better, which means we have forgotten what we actually deserve. Our sin deserves nothing but judgment, but God reached into that pit of our filth pulled us out. Jesus saved us not only from the power of sin but also from the wrath of God. But God doesn’t stop there. Day in and day out the Lord is working in your life. He is healing, softening hearts, orchestrating all things for your good. Unfortunately, we are too unaware and forgetful.
We need to make an effort to pay closer attention to all that God does for us and how He provides for us. One way to do this is through journaling. Write down what you once were and what you are now. Write down ways in which you have grown, write down answers to prayers even if the answers are not what you hoped for. Write down how you have made it through hard times. As the years go by you will have something to look back on that will help you remember the faithfulness of your God and it will be a testimony that you can share with your children.
Remember where you are going.
Whether your life has been easy and calm or difficult and chaotic, remember where God is taking you. You are on the path to an eternal Kingdom. While this path is sometimes hard to navigate and dotted with hard experiences and choices you can be confident that, in the end, all the hardship and sadness will be taken away and you will be given an eternal life filled with true happiness, never-ending peace and contentment, unimaginable fun and a perfected relationship with everyone around you especially with your Savior.
This is why Paul refers to his hardship as “ light momentary affliction.” How can he say that? Because he has a bigger perspective on life than just the here and now. He is remembering, daily, where God is taking him, and all believers. We also need to make an effort to remember that “the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Journaling, again, can be a great help to remember where God is taking you. What is waiting for you in eternity? How does this knowledge make this life brighter and your afflictions a little lighter?
Find ways to remember how much God loves you and the ways in which He proves that love to you. It will be a great encouragement in your faith.
Looking to Jesus,
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