Isaiah had forgotten as usual to brush his teeth before heading to bed tonight.
In exasperation I said, “Why do I always have to remind people to do things they have to do everyday?”
Isaiah immediately quipped, “Does anyone ever have to give you a reminder to forget?”
Me (with the instantaneous weight of truth hitting hard), “Yes, God does… but I’m not very good at listening.”
Josh, having heard the whole thing, snickered… knowingly.
Well isn’t that true…
There are times we forget to remember. And there are moments in which we need to remember to forget. And right there I stood in a moment so thin… a moment of God so near I needed to stop and hear His truth speak.
“Well that’s a thing.” I said aloud.
“Everything okay over there.” My husband asked, likely knowing full-well what was happening in my head.
“As much as it ever is or never was.”
See the truth of the matter is: We don’t just forget to remember sometimes we need to remember to forget.
There are those things, moments in life I cannot forget… wish I could undo.. desperately desire I had never made choice in the first place… regret that ever happened…
[And right here is where the guilt train leaves the station, the brakes of reason have failed and it looks like we’re about to derail (again).]
Oh my word do I ever have times when someone has to remind me to forget.
To forget what has been forgiven. To no longer re-live moments of life that have met their death. To believe what seems awfully unbelievable:
-Christ as broken the power of sin in my life.
-His sacrifice has paid the penalty for my debt.
-I am no longer a slave to sin and death has no victory over me.
Ignoring the fatal is futile -and- Ignoring the remedy will drive you mad, drive you to darkness of heart, soul and mind.
That which was darkness and death in me has been brought to life in the light of Christ. We can fear to bring light to the dark places of our lives. But those places were already festering and the light of Christ, in revealing those dark places, is the only chance we have to revive our very souls.
And then those places aren’t darkness anymore because Christ shines the life-giving light of truth on them.
But oh how many times do we stuff them back into the shadows…. of fear, of worry of discovery, of concern of judgment? Right there we need to remember to forget our former ways… our former ways of thinking even so that we can remember:
Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a]free from the law of sin and death.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
If God is for me, who can be against me?
Paul not only boasted in his weakness, he didn’t shy away from the gravity of his sin. Not in self deprecating admissions meant to earn him pity or false accolades, but in life-giving testimony to the true power, love, mercy, grace, redemption, salvation and sanctifying work of Christ.
Sometimes the thing I need to forget is that which Christ has taken hold of me from… the very death that holds no power over me.
Sometimes the thing I need reminder to forget is that my own strength, image, reputation, righteousness is not on the line: it is the witness of who Christ is in me.
It is then, when the gospel is on display (when I’m brave enough to put aside what needs to be forgotten) that others can see what needs to be remembered.
My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.
Our ultimate weakness (our sinful nature) puts God’s great power on display (our glorious rescue by God though Christ).
So I’ll ask you tonight what Isaiah asked me, what Josh reminds me all the time, what God beckons me daily: what do you need reminder to forget? Because hiding is not the same as something never having happened. Pretending isn’t the same as dealing with things. Denial doesn’t make a lie become true.
Sometimes the best way to forget is to remember: To remember the truth. To give glory to God instead of constructing a facade of self-righteousness. To forget the lies by remembering the truth.
Count this as your reminder to forget.
So, because of all of that, I’m going to ask us both to be brave: To truly forget, we often need to bring to light that which the darkness was strangling us with… You need to tell the truth. Tell it to God who is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Tell it to others so you can be healed. And I know how hard those words of mine are to live out. I’ve wrestled with this over and over (read it by clicking here, and here, here as well, again here, and perhaps the hardest of all here).
You can’t forget what you haven’t truly brought to the light, thats why so many of us struggle to truly know we are forgiven. Starting with confession, the process of truly grieving that which was wrong. Repentance allows healing as God’s forgiveness brings the cleansing power of His sanctification at work in us.
For the times we don’t remember to forget – find truth in the word of God. Memorize it, hide it in your heart, tell a friend what you struggle to forget/remember so they can speak truth when you cannot. Hear truth spoken to your deepest hurts, weaknesses, wounds and sins.
What do you need to be reminded to forget so you don’t forget to remember?