Browsing Tag



Why We Can’t Forget to Remember

July 3, 2014

I do my best thinking at night, always in that silent spot after the light is turned off and I’ve said goodnight to my husband. I roll over to my typical right side, arm under pillow under head, legs curled up, and eyes shut. And in that space, I remember.

I start venturing on this wild ride of maybes, ifs, and could-bes. I remember words spoken, dreams deposited, and promises given. I imagine myself years from now in the furthest hoped-for place, doing what I love and living what I dream. That’s always what my thoughts are in that safe, nighttime space.

I find, though, that my dreams and courage fade about the time my alarm goes off hours later declaring a new day. As I fall out of bed and shuffle my feet to the bathroom to start getting ready, my valiant thoughts of the night before become a soft hum as though we suddenly are miles from each other.

And as they fade, I so quickly forget.

From the first breath of the day, resistance seems to be a friendly companion, following me to each appointment, errand, and conversation, always ready to offer its pressing advice for how to give up, live defeated, and remain unsatisfied. Resistance is at every turn, exerting its strength and tactics to ensure that not one step more is taken towards those dreams.

If I’m not careful, resistance will be sure to keep me forgetting. Because when I do, my day becomes dictated not by the promises in my life, but my feelings in the moment.

See, when I wake up forgetting, emotions become the guiding force to my day. How I feel is the rudder that steers my course, keeping me in circles to eliminate forward progress. Before long, my own emotional teetering and wavering overflows my ship with water, forcing me to try to save what my feelings are sinking. By the end of the day, I did so much fighting with my emotions that I never actually moved anywhere.

Tomorrow, I say. I’ll get moving tomorrow.


Photo Credit: Allison Johnston

But once again, resistance keeps me from remembering by using my emotions to sabotage my progress. And so it’s the same story on a new day. Trying to bail the ship I’m sinking myself by forgetting to remember.

This is why we must remember.

Because remembrance is like manna that keeps us sustained upon a course when we are not easily seeing or hearing.

Jesus once asked his guys, in the middle of their typical confusion, the question: “Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?” [Mark 8:18]

Sometimes (or mostly) in life, it is plain hard to see. No matter our best efforts and prayers, we simply cannot see what we long for or where in the world we are heading. And equally frustrating is when we also cannot hear. God may appear to be muted or distant. And in that place, when sight and sound don’t seem to be companions on the journey, the question is if we can remember the promises spoken over us, the dreams deep with us, and the truth of our identity and purpose.

In Hebrew, the word for remember is zakar. It means to keep in mind, to boast, to invoke. And its purpose then, in encounters like Moses to the Israelites or David in the desert, is the same as it is now: to affect present feeling, thought, and action.

Remembering changes what we think. And when we think different thoughts, we feel different emotions. And when we feel different emotions, we act and respond differently. Remembering fixes our eyes on what is true in the spirit, not what is before us in the natural.

Remembering keeps us moving forward when the course no longer has visual markers, emotional highs, or cheering crowds. When we cannot see and we cannot hear, it’s time to remember.



March 27, 2013

Life certainly carries its ebbs and flows along the journey. In my opinion, the flow of life are those days characterized by awakening to the innate feeling of His presence, awareness of His hand moving in life, and confidence in His goodness today. The days when seeing, believing, and hearing come as natural as if it flowed from one right next to you in the same room.

The ebbing days, weeks, or even seasons are when things go quiet, your eyes feel blind, and no matter what you say/do/declare/pray/believe, you can’t seem to get anything. If we’re honest, it usually feels as though these seasons come around more quickly, frequently, and suddenly than the other.

In the middle of the messy ebbs and flows, there is an undercurrent of hope that keeps the whole thing moving no matter what season in which we find our minds and feet planted.

And there are words like this, found tucked away in those well-worn books of ours, releasing a fresh breath that says:

“Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?”

At first glance your eyes might pass right by it, unable to recognize the richness it holds. But if you stay a moment, letting your fear of abrasive judgement or lack of performed perfection fall off your tired back, you’ll see something beautiful here.


When you cannot see – and oh those days will come. And when you cannot hear – because at times you won’t be able to. Can you still remember?

Can you remember what He did last month when you cried tears of desperation? When you saw Him move in your family in the most radical way? How peace came over you when you said you needed Him near? Or how differently you walk now that you’ve met Him?

Remembering is the never failing breath that, when we feel most lost, will recharge our weary bodies in a moment’s time. Remembrance is hopeful fuel for the ebbing seasons of life and a steady undercurrent when life is flowing at its full-pace goodness.

To remember is to partake in the grace of One who says, “The days may come when you are unable to see My face, or hear My voice. But child, remember.”

Click below to join us in Mark 8, full of a fiery woman, some forgetful disciples and grace-filled remembrance.


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