8.21.2008

Forgetting What Lies Behind...



Much of my life seems to be about "old things". Old furniture, old houses (although 11 years in this one has about changed my tune on that! ;-)), old family stories, family heirlooms, old books, my antique family Bible collection...and even my favorite hobby-turned-tiny-business is all about preserving memories and remembering the past.

Remembering can be a good thing. We are told, in fact, to remember. The Israelites erected "standing stones" to commemorate God's promises and supernatural acts. God gave the rainbow as a reminder of His promise never again to destroy the earth by flood. We are told to celebrate the Lord's Supper "In Remembrance of Me", to remember Jesus' sacrifice for us.

We are told in 1 Chron. 16:12 to remember...

"Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced"

And Psalm 111:4 says,

"He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate."

Failure to remember what God has taught us and the miracles He has done brings about disaster. Neh. 9:17 is just one example of God's people forgetting His works and becoming "stiff-necked" and rebellious:

"They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery."

Sometimes, though, we get stuck in our remembering. Our looking back at the "good old days" can cause us to be discontent with the "here and now" where God has us, and even cause bitterness about the changes He has brought about and expectations that have not been met.

I actually meant to post this Wednesday. I woke up Wednesday morning with this song running through my head:

This One Thing

The things we have are nothing, compared to knowing Christ,
He's surpassing great and wonderf'lly true.
As we run the race to Heaven, rejoicing as we go,
Til the day we reach our goal, this one thing we do:

We forget the things behind us
and press onward to the prize,
For as citizens of Heaven living here,
We do eagerly await Him, Jesus Christ who is our life;
We press onward til our Savior shall appear.

The things which once were profit, we now consider loss,
For the righteousness of Christ has made us new.
To share His pow'r and suffering, to die and then arise,
As we seek to reach the goal, this one thing we do:

We forget the things behind us,
and press onward to the prize,
For as citizens of Heaven living here,
We do eagerly await Him, Jesus Christ who is our life;
We press onward til our Savior shall appear.

Let us run the race with patience, for we know not when
He will change us to His glory,
When He comes again.

We forget the things behind us,
and press onward to the prize,
For as citizens of Heaven living here,
We do eagerly await Him, Jesus Christ who is our life;
We press onward til our Savior shall appear.
~Karen Kuehmann and Dan Forrest, Jr.

The past few weeks I've struggled with *looking back* in a very discontented way...wanting to go back to the "good old days", or wishing that I (or others) had done certain things differently. I have so needed to be reminded to "press on". I ran across this video on Wednesday when I was pondering the song above and the verses from which it is taken (Philippians 3:13-14):



I've also struggled this week with *not* remembering things I *need* to be remembering...God's promises and His mighty works in the past. God has taught me so much recently about the perfection of His timing...and yet, once again, I found myself yesterday doing anything *but* "waiting patiently on the Lord". Agitation and just a general feeling of being "down in the dumps" left no room for peace, joy, or trust.

I'm so thankful for God's faithfulness not to leave me wallowing in disobedience in those times! I'm so thankful for a husband and friends who pray for me, both when I ask them, and when I don't. I'm thankful for friends who remind me to get in the Word even when I don't feel like it...and who read it, quote it, or send it to me when needed. Most of all, I am thankful that His Word is quick, powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword, and for the songs that He gives in the night.

"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 3:13-14

"I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago."
~Psalm 77:11


ETA: I had planned to include another quote that has been running through my head often lately, especially as I've pondered the things in this post. My friend Kecia's dad used to remind us *often* to "RWYK...Remember What You Know." I can hear his voice and see the twinkle in his eye as he said it even now *years* later as I type this. I realized earlier that in all the interruptions I had while typing this post, I had left that part out...and before I got back to add it, my friend Tauna had posted it in the comments. :) What a blessing "Mr. Tom" was and how he is loved and missed! He left quite a legacy, and I'm thankful for the memories I have of his encouragement, and teaching.



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7 comments:

t marie said...

Remember what you know. :)
- Tom Stuart

t marie said...

And oh! I LOVE the picture with this post!!

Jennifer said...

:-D Here is what is funny about that...I had actually planned to mention that quote from Tom Stuart in my post, and realized while I was washing dishes that I left it out, so I was headed back in here to add it!

Kecia...can you tell your dad is loved and remembered??!! :)

t marie said...

I still use that quote all the time. It is perfect poignancy in its simplicity.

Kecia said...

OH, you two made my day! :) I love knowing other people remember my dad too. You understand, don't you Jennifer.

Kecia said...

And I forgot to say it, but good post--I was "amen-ing" it even before the RWYK part. :)

Debra said...

Jennifer,

I just wrote about my Mom and our memories on my blog today.

Thank you for sharing.