How far have we come?

I don’t like video games. I mean, maybe I do, but not ones where you have to keep playing that same level until you beat it. I’d probably rather just play Wheel of Fortune with the old folks. I also don’t read novels more than once. I don’t like to rewatch movies, either. I know it’s an unpopular concept, but I just think, “why?” You’ve been there, done that. Why do it again? Especially when you know how it ends? I like new adventure, fresh ideas, new concepts. Not the same stuff I’ve heard before.

Only. Only, I’m learning, there is value in remembering. Remembrance does something. It reminds us of where we’ve been. It shows us how far we have come.

Right now I’m studying through the book of Deuteronomy. It’s a little on the heavy side, and I don’t always understand everything. But one thing that it’s taught me so far is how valuable it is to look back and remember what God has done.

See, Moses starts out recounting all of the things that happened to the Israelites. And, throughout the first part of the the book, he continues to do the same. Deuteronomy even means “second law.” It’s Moses telling Israel’s history. He tells the good, the bad, and the ugly. See, here he stands in front of this new generation. Many years have passed, 40 to be exact, and the generation of Exodus essentially lost their right to enter the promised land. Yes, even Moses. Because of one sin, even though he was called “servant of the Lord,” he was prevented from entering the promised land.

So, now is his chance to urge the Israelites to follow the one true God. To keep His commands. To love Him with their whole hearts. Here, Israel, is where we were. This, O Israel, is what we’ve overcome. And this, this promised land, is why we should continue to follow, to worship, and to obey.

Do you ever resonate with Israel? Do you experience God’s hand in your life, and then forget? And by forget, I mean turn away? Have you experienced a blessing so great, so profound, that you know it was from the Lord? Yet, when life started to get back to normal, to that everyday grind, you seemed to not really recall that blessing? Do you remember where you were, what you have overcome, second chances that you have been given? But, man, life so easily took something away. You began to struggle financially again. Your loved one died. You lost that job that you worked so hard for. So, you forget. You forget that God has done it before and even though in your heart you know He can do it again, it’s so much easier to grumble. It’s so much easier to complain. It’s so much easier to name all that we don’t have instead of continuing to count our blessings and follow the one true God.

I’m learning that remembering isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s really great. It’s so good to remember the day that I got the good news. It’s a blessing to remember when my loved one could walk again or when I realized that my family member had so crazily escaped death. It’s a good thing to remember the person that I once was because it makes me more clearly see who I am now. I am different. I am changed. I am new. But, I wouldn’t know that if I didn’t take the time to remember how far I’ve come.

May you sit back and remember today. May God grant you a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come. May you continue growing because you just can’t forget what God has done for you so far. And, friend, it isn’t over yet. The promised land awaits.

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