When I was a child, I used to wonder why the Israelites seemed to often forget God’s Goodness and Faithfulness. They forgot how He would take care of them, forgot His provision, His protection, and His promises. I wondered how in the world they could possibly complain about having to eat manna every day when it was clearly a miracle that they had food that fell from the sky and they never went hungry. How was it that they had seen physical miracles, such as an entire sea parting, but would forget and then worry about being protected from the enemy? How, when they had Moses to ascend the mountain to speak face-to-face with God, could a group of people be so incredibly forgetful?
The older I grow, the more I relate to these forgetful people. And no, it’s not because I have memory problems! Ha! Sure, the Israelites had numerous physical manifestations of God’s presence. I mean, I’ve never seen a sea part and I’ve never been able to hit a rock and have water gush from it. I’ve never had literal food fall from the sky to collect and I’ve never instructed a Pharoah to let God’s people go and then see plagues occur when he didn’t listen. But the Israelites were never inhabited by Holy Spirit. They never had the literal presence of God living in their very being. They never had the opportunity to speak with God spirit-to-spirit as often as they desired. They never experienced the intimacy and closeness we get to experience because of Holy Spirit residing in us. And yet, my heart still forgets. I forget how He takes care of me, His provision, His protection, and His promises.
Forgetting comes in the form of discouragement for me. It isn’t that I can’t remember His words to me or that His actual words elude me. It is a much deeper forgetting than that. It is a heart-level forgetting that I am speaking of. My heart forgets the experience, and the Love of the words spoken- and this manifests as discouragement. My heart stops believing what my head knows He has spoken.
It is as if my heart has temporarily fallen asleep, and until God reminds it of His Truth there is a “wandering in the desert” of sorts. It is akin to playing hide-n-seek in a dark house: you know the one you are searching for is there, you just can’t seem to figure out where they are or how to find them.
Admittedly, I find myself in this situation somewhat regularly. While I seek growth in this area, I have found that God is remarkably gentle and kind in His constant reminders. Never has He reprimanded me when my heart has needed reminding. His reminders do not come with shame, condemnation, or scolding for it is His Love that He is reminding me of, and He is delighted to reawaken my heart to His Words for me, of my identity, and of His purposes for me.
He doesn’t roll His eyes because my heart has forgotten again. Instead, He cradles my heart in His hands and massages it until it comes back into full remembrance. This is Love. And this is the reminding my heart needs. As I am so deeply reminded of His profound Love for me, He re-introduces me to the things He has spoken over me. And it is out of this Love—out of this heart-massage—that I begin to remember again.
Often times it is the divinely appointed scripture that I “just so happen” to be reading that reawakens my heart. Other times, it may be a divinely timed phone call, an email I receive, an art piece I am drawn to, or a prophetic word that so poignantly resonates with me that it brings me to tears. There is no limit on how He chooses to awaken my heart and I am grateful for it! I love His creativity and the surprises I get to experience because of His Love for me.
I experienced this recently when God reawakened my heart by way of scripture I was reading as well as two paintings I observed. That morning, I woke with such discouragement in my heart. I needed a heart reminder—a God Hug! I opened my Bible, began reading, and lo and behold it was a passage in Isaiah that spoke to His purposes for me. It spoke of the voice He has given me and how He desires to use it. Such precious encouragement and I hadn’t even been awake for an hour yet! Then, because He gives so freely and abundantly, He encouraged me through two beautiful paintings. One is rather simple: two birds flying together with a beautiful blue sky behind them. The other is an ocean scene with a woman walking along the coastline. He used these paintings to remind my heart in a very profound and real way of what He speaks over me!
These pieces now sit in my room so I can be reminded over and over. Little mementos of God’s deep Love for me. Little (or big!) reminders from the One who knows me, the One who provides for me, protects me, and speaks promises to me. He is so good. So kind. So full of Love. Just so, so Good.
Does your heart tend to forget? Do you fall into discouragement once in a while? Perhaps your heart needs a reminder, too. Perhaps it is His deep Love that your heart needs to experience again.
Would you pause long enough for God to remind you? Begin looking for His sweet reminders, and He will give them! Receive His kind and gentle gift of Love, allowing your heart to be massaged with His Truth spoken over you. Perhaps it will be a verse, or maybe another person, a phone call, an email, something in His creation, or even a painting! His Love is great and He will go to the ends of the earth for you to be reminded of it. May your heart be awakened to all He has for you. Be Blessed.