Memory is a funny thing, isn’t it? Though we try to stop it from happening, it softens and fades with time. What was once sharp and clear becomes a little fuzzy around the edges, and we somehow find ourselves struggling to recall the name of the girl who sat beside us in history class for two whole years in high school. Or maybe that’s just me.
It happens so fast, this forgetting. Whether it’s a conversation you had with your husband at the kitchen counter the other day or the road trip you took with your girlfriends last year, pertinent details fall out one by one, and all you’re left with is the general shape of the thing. The gist of the conversation. The highlights of the trip. The heart of the matter. But the rest? It’s gone.
I think this is why, in Deuteronomy, Moses makes such a big deal out of telling the people of the Lord to remember: because if we don’t make it a point to remember, we’ll forget. Over and over again, he calls them to sharpen their collective memory. Remember who God is. Remember what he has done for you. Remember who you are. Remember where you came from. Always remember. Never forget.
And it’s not just remembering where we’ve been and what God has done in the past that’s important, but also where we’re going and what God has promised to do in the future. His faithfulness in the past is evidence that he is trustworthy, reassurance that any hope placed in him is not in vain, an anchor for the soul.
This world is characterized by change, but God? He’s unchangeable. His word? Unfading. His promises? Rock-solid certainties that you can count on.
If it’s true that we’re shaped by the past, then it’s also true that we who believe are shaped by the future. God’s unchanging, unfading, and eternal promises, the very same ones that we cling to and hope for and dream about, change who we are in the here and now. This future hope, shimmering in the distance, is what shores us up and holds us steady in a world that’s anything but.
Or at least it should.
The problem, of course, is that we’re easily distracted. We get caught up in busy schedules and family drama and binge-watching Netflix and endless laundry and deadlines at work and scrolling social media and rushing here, there, and everywhere, and before we know it, we’ve lost sight of that precious hope. We forget to remember what it means to belong to God, and in the forgetting, we start to look like everyone else.
Moses, at least, recognized this human tendency to forget, so he offered this simple remedy: make it a habit to remember God’s word in the ordinary spaces of everyday life. That way, you won’t easily forget it.
“These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Always remember. Never forget. The logic is beautifully simple. If you’re always talking about scripture at the dinner table, pointing your children to the Lord in the carpool line, contemplating the holy as you go about your day, and writing truth on the walls of your home, it will be impossible to forget.
Preach the gospel to yourself day in and day out. This is the heart of everything that we do here at Muscadine Press. We know how easy it is to forget, so we create tools and resources designed specifically to help you remember. Today, we’re releasing four brand new Dwell Journals and two Gospel Truth Card sets out into the world, and it’s our hope and prayer that these simple things will remind you to look up and look to Jesus, even in the middle of busy days.
Only in remembering can we become who we were always meant to be. Together, we’re striving to remember what’s most important: that God is good and faithful and true, and we are his people. He has saved us from death, called us to faithfulness, and entrusted us with sharing the hope of the gospel in a world that has forgotten.
Until next time, grace and peace.
Believing that God's love is better than life is the kind of thing that's easy when life goes sideways, because there really are situations when life on earth is so bad that to die and be with Jesus would be a mercy. But what about when the opposite is true? When everything is going great? When life is just as you imagined and all your wildest dreams are coming true? Is God's love better even still?