Where were you on this day 2 years ago? Think back. Do you remember. You, like the overwhelming majority of us, were likely at home. The kids were home. Spring break plans were cancelled, and you weren’t going anywhere.
2 years ago was the beginning of the lock-down, shut-in, quarantine at home. Everything changed in an instant. Suddenly, for the first time ever, we were counting the squares of toilet paper and rationing. We were learning how to Zoom, how to be the teacher, and how to fill hours of days that passed ever so slowly inside. At the time, I lived in a downtown loft where on Friday nights we would open our doors to hear the live concert happening in our hall. We paid the musicians in rolls of Charmin. Heck, I was taking an online class on Happiness through Yale. (I can officially add that I went to college at Yale, because I did! And I was a Yale drop-out, so there’s that.)
Where were you? What were you doing? How were your days different? March 2020, when the whole world shut down and families stayed home.
Do you remember missing the simple things? The simple things like being able to go see Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa. The simple things like sitting down at your favorite restaurant. The simple things like seeing smiles and giving hugs, going to Church, dropping the kids off at school, having a reason to put on a bra.
And I remember, 2 years ago right now saying WE WOULD NEVER TAKE THESE SIMPLE THINGS FOR GRANTED AGAIN.
Oh but Sis, have we?
Have we allowed life to go back to the way it used to be without an awareness of how sweet it is to get to do all the things we get to do? Have we slipped back into old habits and routines without recognizing how good it is to do these simple things again? Have we neglected to do the things with intention we swore we would do once we could?
When’s the last time you counted the squares on your toilet paper roll? You’re not rationing anymore are you? Well, are you remembering to be grateful for that abundance now? Are you saying the same prayer of thanksgiving now when you see a stocked shelf at the store with what you need, or was that gratitude only during a crisis?
Girl, can you stay grounded void of a crisis, or does it require a global pandemic to keep you grateful for the simple things? Can you live intentionally with your priorities given first place here, or was that only during shut down?
Have you gone back to that old you with that old way of living, pre-2020? Are you no longer noticing the beauty of the smile now that it’s not covered with a mask? Are you no longer making time to go see Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa because you can always do that now? Are you driving those kids to school and dropping them off in a mad, angry rush, forgetting that this is exactly what you prayed for? Here we are living in our freedom and life that has returned to more of a normal than we thought possible, but have we forgotten?
The Israelites spent more than a few months in lockdown. They had greater concerns than homeschooling and toilet paper rationing. They were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. They had no freedoms. No luxuries. No comforts. They begged God to set them free, and guess what … he did!
God worked through plagues and crisis, hardship and turmoil, split seas and washed away enemies to bring them to freedom. They walked right out of the gates they had been held behind their entire lives. And in their freedom, something happened … they did what we all eventually do, they took it for granted. They began to whine about the luxuries they had in freedom that they could only dream of while in slavery.
Oh my gosh, isn’t this us? Here we are living in freedom again, free to do the things we were begging to do 2 years ago, and we’re now whining about HAVING to do it. We’re now walking in a reality we day dreamed about in quarantine, but are we even aware of it?
Deuteronomy 6:12 “Be careful not to forget the LORD who rescued you.”
This was a warning given to the Israelites who were living in freedom after 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Never forget your rescue. Never forget what God drug you out of. Never forget how the Lord brought you through. Never forget the simple things you would have given anything for, and now here you have them. Do not forget this!
The Israelites forgot. They got in the middle of their 10 day journey from where they had been to where they were going, and they forgot. They forgot who God was and the power he had shown them. They forgot if God was for them, who could possibly be against them. And because they forgot, they were overwhelmed by the threat of an enemy they felt they couldn’t defeat and they stopped moving forward.
My sisters, when we forget what God has already brought us out of, we fail to recognize his power to bring us through whatever is next, and we simply stop moving forward. When we stop moving forward, we forfeit the opportunity to step into God’s good plans for us just ahead.
Ridiculous goodness awaited the Israelites in a land God had promised them. It was the land they dreamed of for 400 years while slaves. But now, on the journey there, they forgot the power of the God who had rescued them, and they settled in the wilderness on the way.
Oh, we talked about that wilderness walk yesterday. Sometimes God leads us through the wilderness to bring us to our destiny, but my sister he doesn’t leave us there. His purpose for a wilderness is to walk us through it, not set up camp in it and make it our home. God didn’t rescue them to just leave them in the wilderness, but that’s what it felt like to them. And they let their feelings create fear that prevented them from stepping into their destiny.
Ba-Bam!!!!!! Have your feelings created a fear that is preventing you from stepping into your destiny? Just let that resonate for a hot minute.
So, they remained in their wilderness for 40 years. An entire generation died in the place that was just supposed to be the temporary pass through. Why? Because they had forgotten the Lord who rescued them. They had forgotten his power was greater than any obstacle they could face. They had forgotten if he had already done the impossible to save them, he would surely do the impossible to get them where they were going!
What have you forfeited on the journey my sister? What feelings have sidelined you? What fear has taken over and made you forget about the sheer power of God working for you?
God says “be careful not to forget your rescue.” Be careful. Full of care. This requires your thought, your awareness, your attention and your intention. Carefully remember how God has rescued you. Intentionally take yourself back to see how he provided. Be fully aware of the growth you experienced on that journey and use it for good now.
Pause today. Here you are 2 years after being shut-in, locked down, and quarantined at home. Have you forgotten the promises you made then? Have you returned to normal and failed to uphold the lessons you learned there? Have you hurried back into normal and taken these precious things for granted again?
Do not forget what God rescued you from. Don’t forget how good it is to sit down in a restaurant. Don’t forget what a gift it is to be able to smile at people, and see their smile returned. Don’t fail to go see Mom or Dad or Grandma and Grandpa just because there’s always time and opportunity to do it now. No. No there isn’t. These are still priceless moments you’re dealing with, it’s just a little more obscure now.
Don’t forget. Remember. Remember and be better. Remember and be grateful. Remember and give God praise. God brought us through that, and here we are now. Won’t he bring us through every single thing we’re worried about here? Won’t he make a way just as he has always made a way? Won’t he do it again?
Be careful not to forget the Lord who rescued you.