Is there a scene more to despise
Than a sparrow forgetting the air where she flies?
Or a trout disdaining the river he breathes?
But, oh how much worse when I forget Thee!
. . . . . . .
But there is a scene that I recognize
The sparrow cannot forget her fledgling’s cries.
Or a trout forget to swim up the river
Your sweet, “I remember Thee,” standing forever.
. . . . . . . .
This sparrow is missing the glory today,
The trout has no joy in his watery play.
But I have now this unfading delight
That though I forget, my Savior will not.
“…they have forgotten the Lord their God.” (3:21)
Recently, I read through the book of Jeremiah. Israel was seeking things that do not benefit her (2:8), forsaking the fountain of living waters (2:13), forsaking God Himself (2:17,19). And, in all of that, proclaiming her own goodness (2:23). God’s charge: adultery (3:1) But, how merciful our God is! “Yet return again to me….” (3:1). What does she give in return? A brazen face, a refusal to be ashamed.
This leads up to that dreadful pronouncement–You have forgotten the Lord (3:21). And inside my soul, I tremble, for this is the sin that I dwell in every day. See, outright rebellion begins with that small choice to forget. “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1).
I seem to be a record-time forgetter.
And God, to my amazement, hears.
He answers and I could shout.
Because of His awesome timing, His creative answers to my pleas, His mercies that span wider than I had dared dream.
And the next instant, I forget.
I feel, in an moment, like a lost child in a monstrous world of enigmas. Situations are screaming at me. Questions of right are nagging me to decide between one desire and another. I can’t–or maybe I don’t want to– loose my death-grip on life. How can I possibly shudder enough at this idea–I’m always forgetting God.
My heart flies, undone, to the Rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2). I lean, panting against it, a child afraid of the dark and afraid of the Light. There is a voice, an ancient, ageless Word:
“I remember thee” (2:2).
Me! He remembers ME! In spite of my constant cycle of forgetting Him, in spite of my daily relapse into the things I’ve grown to hate (Romans 7), in spite of the sin that still clings like a rotten cloak–He REMEMBERS.
Over the many past weeks as we’ve studied love, I came closer and closer to the realization of my utter deficit of love. In the same way, as I see my heart’s forgetfulness, I begin to understand just how unbelievable it is that I could forget how much God has done. But dwelling on my lack of consistency will not solve my problem.
Only dwelling on Christ’s faithfulness, his totally reliable memory, will give me the strength to run back to Him again after another episode of straying. He has set his seal on us–graven our names into his hand (Isaiah 49:16). There is a good reason for me to turn in disgust from my sinful forgetting–to repent and cry out for forgiveness. Our crime is not diminished by His mercy. But at the same time, I am not to continually live in sorrow over this error!
We have a glorious hope and a God at our side who wants to fill His dear ones with joy in Him. Like a lost child, run home! Whenever you see that you’ve gotten off the road, turn around and run back!
There’s a feast waiting for us when we get there!
“Go back, go back to the ancient paths, Lash your heart to the ancient mast,
And hold on, [girl], whatever you do, To the hope that’s taken hold of you,
And you’ll find your way, You’ll find your way
If love is what you’re looking for, The old roads lead to an open door,
And you’ll find your way, You’ll find your way,
– Andrew Peterson, “You’ll Find Your Way” –
“His Grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” – John Newton