I’m sitting on my dog’s leash as I type this; a simple, if crude, means of preventing him from bolting through the back door. Our house, like many in Florida, has a pool, and it’s Lobo’s favorite place in the world. But if my kids are going to swim safely with friends, Lobo needs to give the water a break.
Dogs tend to have one-track minds, though. Whether it’s the pool, a treat, or the word ‘walk’ uttered in their presence, they fixate. Lobo’s whines and the little tugs on the leash prove this: he hasn’t forgotten about the pool. Minutes turn to half-hours and half-hours to hours, but he cannot divert his attention. At least in these high-fixation moments, dogs remember.
Remembering isn’t one of my strengths. Nor, I think, is it a strength of humanity in general. Hence the numerous biblical admonitions to remember what God has done. The Passover feast, tassels on clothing, Scripture on doorposts, and more called Israel’s attention back to God and his loving action on their behalf. The Church has the Lord’s Supper, ecumenical holidays like Christmas and Easter, and, perhaps most necessary of all, one another.
There are days when I experience a tangible token of God’s grace in the morning, only to doubt his goodness or presence because of some misfortune in the afternoon. If only I could borrow a dog’s ability to fixate and to trust!
Brothers and sisters in Christ fill this gap, though. When I’m down and doubting, a friend can remind me of what God has done, both in the redemptive work of Jesus and in direct ways in my life. I need these regular reminders, along with the weekly remembrance of gathering as a church community, even more so than other reminders like inspirational wall-hangings or Bible verses posted on my desk (not to say these aren’t helpful too!).
I need to “teach and admonish” my brothers and sisters as well. Sometimes speaking the truth of God’s love and grace to another is just the reminder my own heart needs.
Father, thank you that, no matter whether I remember or forget, you are always faithful. Jesus’s work on the cross proved that. Forgive me for how easily I forget your love and grace, and help me to be one who encourages others to remember your love, even as they remind me. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Throughout This Day: Take time to remember ways God has shown you his power, grace, love and mercy in the past, and thank him wholeheartedly for his faithful care.
Photo Credit: Tim Broadbent on Unsplash