Sunday, March 24, 2013

Remember the Awful and the Awesome

"Remember the awful and the awesome.
They both produce awe!" ~ Beth Moore

I heard Beth Moore say this and it really impacted me. I quickly found a piece of paper because I had to write it down. Beth was teaching on the topic of "Don't forget to remember." She reminded me that it's important for us to remember how God has worked in our lives--in the good and the bad. I never thought of how closely related these two words are: Awful and Awesome. Hmmmm.

Several months ago I wrote a post about remembering titled looking back but moving forward. My point was that we should not get stuck in the past, but to look back carefully in order to learn from it. However, it's important that we continue to move forward. Learning from our past, whether mistakes or joys, helps us in the future. And who would know better than Moses and the Israelites.

The Israelites experienced awful times and awesome times. Both produced awe in how God provided for them. Before they moved into the Promised Land, Moses instructed the people very carefully about remembering. Deuteronomy chapter 4 is filled with warnings for the Israelites such as:
  • Listen carefully
  • Just obey the commands of the Lord
  • Don't forget what you have seen
  • Pass these memories on to your children
  • Remember that the Lord rescued you
  • Be careful not to break the covenant the Lord has made with you
  • Do not make idols
  • Remember and keep it firmly in your mind

Imagine if they had not recorded these events for us to read today. It's so easy for us to read these stories and file it away in our memories like it's just another great plot line to a novel or movie. This was real!!! The awful and the awesome really happened and God wanted it recorded so that future generations would know what He had done for His people.

Likewise, it's important for us to look back at the awful and the awesome so we can remember and share how God intervened on our behalf, how He provided, how He kept His promises, and so on. On a personal note, I know first-hand how easy it is to forget both the awful and the awesome. During the past few years I've experienced both and as time wears on, the memory fades. Until something triggers a memory, I've found that I have almost forgotten how God worked out circumstances in my life. After I started this blog I found that it helps me to go back and reread some of these posts which help me remember. I also started journaling more of these awful and awesome moments. I find that when I am feeling overwhelemed or disappointed, going back to read these things I have recorded helps renew my faith. It truly does produce Awe!

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