Leadership

A Remedy for Forgetfulness

By Shannon Reese

It’s easy to forget. 

Just last week I forgot a friends’ birthday, my car keys, and an early morning meeting. 

And then there are times I forget much bigger things like the fact that God is faithful; that He can be trusted.

Like anyone else, I can grow worried, anxious, and fearful about the changes happening all around me and forget that my faithful God remains the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Since the beginning of time, humans have been prone to forget. Knowing this, God gave us His Words written down in a book to remind us of His Story and His Spirit in the hearts of those who believe to remind us of His truth.

The first five books of the Bible recount the beginnings of the nation of Israel, her deliverance by God from slavery to Egypt and her wandering in the wilderness. 

After four decades, on the cusp of entering the promised land flowing with milk and honey, Moses was concerned that a better life would lead to forgetfulness. He spoke to the people of Israel (his words are recorded in Deuteronomy, the forget-ME-not book) and said, 

“Only be careful for yourself and watch over your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Besides all of the normal causes of forgetfulness, Moses knew that the nation of Israel was about to enter a season of plenty and was likely to forget about God when they didn’t need Him to provide for their daily needs. 

Moses’ remedy for Israel’s forgetfulness? 

Remember and remind.

Remember God’s faithfulness. Israel, remember what you have seen God do. Remember how God has delivered and rescued you. Remember how God has been good to provide all that you needed to follow Him. (Deuteronomy 29:5 even says that their clothes and sandals didn’t wear out for forty years!) Remember the words God has given you to follow and the promises He has made to you. 

When you enter into this new land, this new season, this new way of life, don’t forget God’s faithfulness to you.

And then, Israel, after you remember your own story of God’s faithfulness, remind others.

Tell the stories of God working in your life to your children and grandchildren. Tell the stories to anyone who will listen. Give them hope that God can be trusted because He is trustworthy. He has proven Himself to be the Promise-Keeper.

Remind them that the same God who has been faithful in the past will be faithful in the future because that is who He is. Remind them that they can know this God too.

Remember and remind. 

As leaders, whether we are in plenty or in want, we can remember God’s faithfulness and remind others that the God who has been faithful will be faithful. We can model for others a life of dependence on God regardless of how easy or difficult life is. 

So, how has God been faithful to you? What stories from your own life remind you that God can be trusted? 

As a little girl, I heard stories of a car accident in December of 1940 that almost took my grandfather’s life. 

While in the hospital recovering from that accident, my grandfather heard about Jesus’ love for him and followed Jesus until his death 70+ years later. God was faithful to provide for my grandfather as he spent months in “recovery” and managed a lifetime of chronic injuries. And God was faithful to my grandmother, providing for her needs as a young wife and mother with a recovering husband.

Hearing these stories, I learned that God was good and He could be trusted. I learned that God uses the difficult seasons of our life to prepare us for what is to come.

As a teenager, my family and I experienced a horrific car accident in the Colorado Rockies that almost took my dad’s life. Though he experienced extensive brain damage and broken bones, God restored him to health and my dad continues to serve the Lord.

But, standing in the hallway outside his hospital room the morning after our accident, I remember struggling to believe that God could do anything good with our situation. And then a friend reminded me of God’s faithfulness. Because He had seen God be faithful in his own life, he knew that God would prove Himself faithful in mine.

Like he did for my grandmother and grandfather, God provided for our physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs. The same God who was faithful in the 1940’s was faithful in the 1990’s… because that is who He is. 

In many ways, our family’s car accident is my Exodus story.

Each year, our family remembers God’s faithfulness and we remind our children. We want them to know that the same God who was faithful then will be faithful from here on because He cannot not be Himself. We remind them, like Paul reminded Timothy, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful for he cannot deny himself.” (1 Timothy 2:13)

As leaders in our homes, families, churches, schools, ministries and business, let’s take some time this week to remember God’s faithfulness and then remind others who may have forgotten.

I imagine they need to hear it from someone who has experienced it firsthand.

Consider this:

  • When times get hard, what personal story of God’s faithfulness do you remember? 
  • Who in your life needs be reminded that God is faithful?

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