Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Forgetful Fool

Every parent has heard the dreaded words: "I forgot".

"Haven't I told you many times that you never hurt or hit your sister?"
"I forgot."
"The spanking spoon and I are here to help you remember."
My son is now 7 and doesn't forget nearly as often.

Forgetting is a sin that is rarely called a sin, and it is highly dangerous.  A child can be told not to run into the street, but it only takes one forgetful moment for tragedy to happen. That is why the Proverbs remind children over and over to remember the words of wisdom they are given, by both their parents and the Word of God.

"Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth." Prov 4:5

Today is April Fool's Day.  There is only one way to not be fooled on this holiday: remember what day it is.  If you are always aware that it is April 1st, then you are skeptical of everything you hear and every status you read.  But if you forget what day it is, then you'll believe anything and be made the fool.

Life is fun when it's pranks and jokes for one day.  But as an adult, it is far more dangerous to forget the works of God throughout history and throughout one's life.  God is always challenging us to remember.  He told the Isrealites in Deuteronomy to watch themselves diligently, and not forget how God brought them out of slavery.  When they entered the Promised Land, God knew that they would be tempted to become self-sufficient in all of their prosperity, and forget Who brought them into freedom by no works of their own.

Even though believers today have the Word of God at their disposal, to remind them of all that God has done, we forget.  We doubt that He is really good.  We doubt that He could love us despite our sin.  We forget our freedom and enslave ourselves to all kinds of addictions.  We forget how patient He is with us, and lash out at others.  We forget His faithfulness and become afraid.  We take our eyes off the cross and onto our performance, which in turn leads to pride or insecurity. 

But God gives us reminders.  He gives us the Holy Spirit to recall His Word to mind.  He instituted the Lord's Supper to remind us of the Body that He crucified on our behalf.  And we have an orderly calendar system to remember certain days of the year.

Today's a big day for me.  10 years ago today, my husband awoke to me crying in the bathroom.  I was pregnant and not happy about it.  He knew I wasn't playing an April Fool's joke, because I'm not that good of an actress to play the part of a woman in despair.  It seems silly now, but at the time I thought having a baby was a bad thing for me--I was scared to death to be a mom and felt that life was completely out of my control!!! 

Remembering my fear and how faithful God has been through these 10 years is good for me. I am currently facing other fears and other decisions that will affect much of the future.  Life feels so out of control, in complete limbo.  But life never was MINE to control in the first-place.  And so I remember, this day, how silly I was years ago, and how I can see so much clearer 10 years later.  That gives me perspective because the things I'm fearing today will seem silly 10 years from now.

When I remember who God is, I am skeptical of emotions that want to believe otherwise.  When I remember the things God has done in my life, my fears are replaced with peace, even when the logical information isn't adding up.  My prayer today is that the Lord will help my mind and emotions not make a fool of me, so I can press forward in faith.

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