Remember the Past
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.”
(Psalm 77:11, NIV)
When my eldest daughter was young, I made a scrapbook of her first year of life, taking time to carefully preserve the photos marking each milestone, her birth announcement, her wristband from the hospital and her first lock of hair. I worked as a scrapbook consultant at the time and enjoyed getting together with friends to work on our memories together. (By the time our fourth child arrived, I’d moved onto digital scrapbooking!)
My children’s scrapbooks line our bookshelves, and every so often I’ll pull them out, reflecting on their milestones, smiling at the memories and laughing at the funny things they did. I love seeing their unique personalities come to life on the pages. Now with three teens and a pre-teen, it’s easy to forget some of the events from those early years. Life is hectic, and my mind is focused on this season of parenting – running them from one activity to another while still trying to manage some one-on-one time with each of them (all the while praying hard over them as they navigate the teenage years!) One of the things I’m thankful for social media for is that every so often, an old photograph will pop up, and I’ll say, ‘That’s right! Remember when …’
While we might forget small things about our children, God doesn’t want us to forget what He’s done in our lives. When we’re facing trials, and worry about the future creeps in, it’s easy to forget how good God is. Our mind is focused on the present and the unknown, that we often forget what God has done for us before.
The Old Testament tells of God commanding Joshua to assemble twelve stones in the Jordan River, and another twelve as they’d passed through. I’m guessing they were thinking that was a pretty crazy thing to do at the time. Why on earth would God want them to put two piles of rocks in the river? We discover why in the final verse:
He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever. (Joshua 4:24, NLT).
God asked Joshua to establish the monuments to remember where they’d been and where they were going. It was a reminder of God’s goodness for generations to come.
In Psalm 103, David writes, ‘Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.’
Forgetting what God has done creates doubt for the future – will God really help me? And it can also lead to disobedience. We only need to recall the Israelites and their grumbling and short-term memory loss as they wandered in the desert! God blessed them so many times, and yet they were so caught up in their circumstances that they quickly forgot God’s goodness – what He’d done and what He promised to do.
God is good. Let us never forget that. When trials and doubts arise, remember what He has done for you before, and take comfort that He will do it again. He has brought you this far, and He will do so again.