Another thing I have done for many years is that I have kept prayer boxes. A friend read a book once where the heroine in the story kept prayer boxes - a smaller box inside a larger one - to record her prayers and the answers God gave. One Christmas, my friend gave me a gift of two boxes so I could do the same.
I keep a small notepad and pen in the small box where I write prayer requests. As God answers, I place the answers in the bigger box which becomes my praise box. I love going through the box and being reminded of all that God is doing and has done.
Throughout the Bible, God gives us reminders to 'not forget' and to 'remember' what he has done so we won't turn away from him when circumstances change - either for the better or for the worse.
We see so many times how the Israelites 'forgot' and turned away from God almost the minute things changed for them. They rejoiced when God brought them out of Egypt and yet complained as soon as they knew the Egyptians were after them. They rejoiced when God brought them through the Red Sea and their enemies were destroyed but complained when things became difficult in the wilderness. They worshipped God but then built a golden calf and worshipped it when Moses had spent 'too long' with God on the mountain.
How many times did the Israelites forget and turn away from God even though he’d brought them out of Egypt, protected and fed them in the wilderness, gave them victory as they took possession of the land God was giving them?
We read about the Israelites and wonder how they could turn from God when he has done so much for them and yet, are we really all that different? How many times do we doubt God in our trials or in our ‘wilderness’ and forget his goodness, his promises? Do we 'forget' when things are going so well we don't 'need' him?
Why do we need to remember? – So we don’t turn away when circumstances change or are difficult; so we won’t get proud when success comes; so we can share with others including those who come after us - the next generation - so they will walk with God.
Deuteronomy 8 warns against forgetting and sends out a call to remember and obey : v6-18 “So obey the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills…It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today…Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfil the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” (NLT)
In this case, God wants us to remember him in the good times - knowing that he is the one who provided, who brought us through, who sustains us. We didn't do that on our own.
Psalm 77.18-19 (NLT) says, “O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”
Here, we're reminded to remember all that God has done and to share it with those coming after us so they too 'remember' and follow God and don't turn away.
I love looking back on what God has said and done in my life. I love sharing those things as well as seeing lives change and others go on to remember and share what God is doing for them too. I guess this blog is a part of that journey.
My husband calls my journals and my prayer boxes, my 'paper or wooden altars'. So many times in the Old Testament, when God has done something amazing for his people, they erected stone altars (a pile of stones in the place where the thing occured) as reminders for them and for all who would come after them. I guess my journals and my prayer boxes are like that - a place where I can go and remember who God is and all he's done and then worship him.
What do you do to 'remember'?