Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh, Forgetful Me!

No matter how quickly I take out my notebook during the prayer request time in services, no matter how diligent I am at writing notes about those that are mentioned, no matter how many times I take out that notebook page during the week, I often fail to do what I should. There are prayers that should be said and people that should be remembered that fall through the cracks of my memory.

I don’t take it lightly when someone opens up to share their trials with me and I tell them that I will be praying for them. But, I can’t begin to describe that awful, sinking feeling I have in my gut when I might see that person again days or weeks or months later… knowing that I told them I would pray but haven’t… or have, but not nearly as often or as fervently as I should have prayed. I have the best of intentions, and it is important to me. But, frequently, I downright fail to do my duty.

When the days grow dim and my own trials appear, it is the realization of my shortcomings and humanity that makes me doubt that others are praying for me. And, I’m ashamed to admit it, but I so often question if our Lord has done the same: forgotten me in this deep, dark valley of life.

There is a hymn we rarely sing at our Sacred Harp gatherings. But, each time we do, these few beginning lyrics make me catch my breath. (Kedron, 48b)
Thou man of grief, remember me,
Thou never canst Thyself forget.

It becomes too easy to place conditions… “If He really cared…,” to place blame “He allowed this…,” to have doubts “Does He even know me?” and treat Him as less than He is “He doesn’t understand.” It becomes too easy to hold him to human limitations… “He has way too much to do.” and “He surely has forgotten me.”

So, forgetful me must be reminded over and over. First of all, He has sent others to pray for us and help us in our walk. He has comforted them and, in turn, they will comfort us with the love and wisdom they’ve received from God. But, even in the rare occasion it seems as if no one is there, God is there. Remembering. Never forgetting.

Sacred Harp Hymn (Sweet Union 424)
But though I have Him oft forgot,
His loving kindness changes not.

No matter how hard the trial, He really cares. No matter the difficult lesson, He is beside me. No matter how large the doubts, His love is steadfast. No matter how large the trial, He understands what I am experiencing and doesn’t turn away. No matter how many troubles in this world, His promises to me, his child, are kept. No matter how many human limitations I try to place on him, His mercies and love are unending. Never failing are His remembrances of me.

While, one day, I can remember this and hold on to this, so easily the next day will I forget. Time and time again.

We sing a special hymn that pleads, “O Lord, remember me!” and I love its sentiments. But, I need a hymn that cries out, “Forgetful me, remember our Lord”… remember all of whom He is… all of which He is capable… all of which He has accomplished for me. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, He will never forget or fail…no matter how many times I do so.

He remembers. And, each time I remember this, may I fall at His feet to worship Him as I should.

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
But when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.

Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

De 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Isa 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.


jsarber said...

Beautiful post. It's very courageous to admit your faults.

Chris Crouse said...

I was edified while reading your post and I appreciate that very much.

I also appreciate you very much and the many prayers I know you offer in all our behalf. It is a comfort, and source of strength to know we have the prayers of those we love.

Thank you for the reminder to be more prayerful ... it is so simple, yet so easily forgotten. Like you, I thank the God of heaven and earth that His memory is not like mine, where I fail, He never has, never does and thanks be to God, never will.

Owl of the Desert said...

Thank you so much for this post. I fail to remember so often, and it is encouraging to read that where we fail, God knows the intents and desires of our heart. And he always remembers.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Strem -

Awesome post!! Our pastor talked tonight about intimacy with God and getting to the point where we pray because we want to fellowship with Him, not because we need something from Him.

Keep up the good work :-)


lydia said...

I agree with all of the above comments. I enjoyed reading this post very much. It was convicting and encouraging.

Thank you for being so faithful to pray. When I go to you with something and you say you will pray for me, I know that you mean it. I'm sorry that I haven't been so faithful to do the same.

That verse from "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds" is my favorite verse of the hymn. It gives me great joy to know that although our most earnest efforts to serve God are feeble, we will one day be able to praise Him perfectly.