This morning I am restless and so I step out into bright spring sunshine and walk. The morning is calm and peaceful and I soon find my heart overflowing with thankfulness. I am blessed beyond measure as I look out across green fields and budding trees. I see what is here – blessings all around me too numerous to count – and I remember what once was and I wonder why I so easily forget.
This week as we draw closer to a weekend of remembrance, I have been reading the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. I am once again struck with awe by the story of God’s mighty power when I read about the plagues that He used to reveal Himself and strike fear and reverence into the hearts of both the Egyptians and His chosen people, the Israelites. Passages like, “such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.” or “ So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” Or “which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day.”
Although I may remember the story, I am always awed by the power of God revealed to his people when I read again this amazing story. The Israelites were told to keep the Passover as “a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” It was meant to be a reminder so that the people, their children, their children’s children, and on down through the generations, would remember God’s deliverance.
And to parallel this story is the story of deliverance found in the gospels. It too is a story that I may have heard often, but when I read it again and am moved to tears by the love, compassion, and sacrifice given so that I might have life and have it more abundantly, and I wonder again why it is that I so easily forget – why I forget about God’s deliverance. I think about that last Passover supper that Christ observed with his disciples. Luke records in his gospel the words of Christ, “…this do in remembrance of me” and although we may take the cup and drink and take the unleavened bread and eat, I am amazed beyond words at how quickly we forget what was given – how quickly I forget.
I look around me again – I am blessed beyond measure. So often I feel like a man who beholdeth himself in a glass and then goes his way and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. I forget so easily. I let my thoughts focus on things that are passing away. Why do I worry that the God who provided for today and all my yesterdays would not be present in my tomorrows? Why do I not remember in the midst of all this abundance with which I have been blessed that I possess blessings – gifts of grace eternal – that are not fading and that are far more valuable than anything that I can see.
I pray that I will remember – not only in this season of remembrance – but in all my days that lay ahead, those things that are of greater value, those things of eternal importance, and trust all else to the one who is able to deliver a nation from the bondage of Egypt and a mortal man from the bondage of sin.