I have twin boys who just turned 16 last month.
My wife is the one who always tries to make sure they feel special on their birthday. She often does this by decorating the house with confetti, banners, balloons and other Happy birthday paraphernalia on their special day.
This year, she got a banner from a party store that had a clothespin attached to each letter of the phrase “Happy 16th birthday!” Since I’m the guy with the camera gear in the family, my wife tasked me with the job of finding photos from the past year to attach to each clothespin on the banner.
The idea was to celebrate memorable moments of the past year while looking forward to the next year.
It was interesting to look back through photos from the past year because I realized how easy it is to forget about things that happened even such a short time ago.
I think God knows that we tend to be forgetful, which is why He commanded the Israelites so many times in the Old Testament to “Remember.” (The word “remember” occurs more than 130 times in the Old Testament alone)
In Joshua 4, right after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River to enter the promised land, the Lord told Joshua to have representatives from each of the 12 tribes to take a stone from the middle of the Jordan River and to stack it in the place where they lodged that first night in the Promised Land.
This simple mound of rocks was to serve as a reminder to the Israelites for generations to come that the Lord had stopped the flow of the Jordan River long enough to allow the people to cross into the Promised Land. It was a Stone of Remembrance.
If you think about it, the many Jewish feasts and festivals scattered throughout the year served a similar purpose. Each was initiated as a way to remember something special the Lord had done to deliver or preserve His chosen people. Celebrating the feasts on an annual basis ensured a greater probability of remembering God and His extreme goodness and lovingkindness.
I find that I forget all kinds of things these days. I sometimes forget about appointments I scheduled. Sometimes I forget things my wife has told me (she might say this is a frequent occurrence). And just like the Israelites, I can forget the many ways in which God has worked in my life and how He’s blessed our family.
I want to create more tangible ways of helping me remember what God has done in my life. One way I have done that is occasionally taking time to look back through our old newsletters and blog posts, which is a history (of sorts) of what God has done in my life.
How about you? What do you do to help yourself remember how the Lord has blessed you? Do you do anything special to mark significant spiritual moments in your life?
Perhaps you keep a journal that you thumb through regularly, or maybe you keep a detailed list of answered prayers. Or maybe you’re the creative type who likes to create special keepsakes to commemorate important moments.
Whatever it is, it’s important that we don’t forget the Lord’s goodness and mercy. It’s so easy to do and it’s what is typical of people.
My hope and prayer is that we wouldn’t be typical but that we would never forget the good things the Lord has done!