"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For this momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I should probably shower.
I run weary fingers through my silver-sprinkled, mahogany hair. About halfway through they hit a snag and sweet memories begin to enfold me. Only hours ago, I held a gem of a woman as she wept into my hair. It was not a gentle weeping, but the sort that racks the body and mind, pressing from the emotions that which has been harbored for too long. She was one of those priceless souls – simple, guileless and childlike. Her pain was pure; her need deep. It was an honor to be entrusted with her tears. My arms trembled as I wrapped my feeble self around her and looked to God to hold her. His faithfulness was proven, yet again.
Who is this Lord, so gracious, so gentle with our hearts? Always present, always overflowing, a Father from whom every other takes its name...
I take another swipe at the gristly knot of hair, but my fingers get lodged in the thick of it. I chuckle. I’m carried back again, to lunch this time, on a cloud of effervescent laughter and sugary scents. The three of us sat precariously on the ledge of the fire pit, savoring our breakfast-themed feast. The girl next to me picked through her mixed hash, lobbing bits of juicy bacon onto my plate (because bacon is my favorite.) We all came from different worlds, but we found a kinship. Our hearts were knit together by the Word spoken and a shared hunger for the True and Living God.
A gentle breeze carried a swath of my hair across my face as I stooped to plunge another hunk of spongy pancake into the amber pool of syrup. Instinct carried my hand to my hair, but I forgot about the fork... the one held loosely by that same hand, still dripping with syrup. As I brushed back the stray hair, sticky wonder laced the last six inches of my mane. We laughed. We talked of Jesus and beauty and our own tender hearts. We were warmed by His sunshine.
I smile and sigh... I should probably shower.
But I don’t want to wash away the beauty of Christ emanating in and through the small things. I don’t want to miss the breathless moments when the majesty of God-omnipotent collides with frail humanity… when the eternal splits time wide open for a brief glimpse of heaven and awe engulfs my horizon.
How quickly I forget, Lord. Help me. Help me to remember.
Twenty minutes from now my hair will be heavy, but clean, the tangibility of these precious moments erased. I don’t want them to slip away, but really, I don’t want my awareness of Him to slip away. I’ll take my snot-crusted, maple-kissed mop over the slow erosion time works on my heart and mind. I don’t want to lose the sweet aroma of His humility and tenderness.
I grab the pristine, white towel from the shelf as tears burn at the edge of my eyes.
Let me not forget You, O God! Etch Your Word, Your Son, onto my heart. I release the tangible and reach for the intangible... the unchanging, relentless abiding care of my Lord and my Father. I don’t want to settle here, clinging to earthly things, even the good things You provide.
May I be quick to release the very gifts You give, holding loosely to the temporal so I can cling to You, the Eternal One.
Remembering is a powerful command the Lord gives us. Take a look at this passage from God's second giving of the law to His people.
“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. - Deuteronomy 8:1-3
God longs for fellowship with us. It was when His people forgot that their hearts began to wander from Him, their first love. Are we so different? How many times have we had a sweet moment with the Lord only to lose our temper an hour later? We are prone to wander, and our loving Father has given us a key to staying close.
Choosing to remember is a weapon against the spiritual, mental and emotion assault of our enemy, as well as our own selfishness and pride. It builds a foundation for a life of gratitude and worship. Recounting our Lord's faithfulness fuels faith and loving adoration as we lift our eyes to the Lord of Hosts Who is seated in victory!
Take a few minutes to lift your heart to your Heavenly Father and remember His goodness. Remember His faithfulness. Remember Who He is and all He has done.