Mulberries - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Remember what God has done

We are forgetful people, and we live in a forgetful culture. I don’t think we forget on purpose. There are many times I truly believe we just get so busy and our brains get so full that forgetfulness just comes naturally. But it sure isn’t purposeful. I forget things all the time, but mainly that’s because I’m running around like a crazy person.

Example: I forgot to post yesterday. Did I do it on purpose? Not at all. My flight got into Wichita about 12:30 in the morning Wednesday, I slept for a few hours, and I work up and went to work. Posting a devo completely slipped my mind until later in the afternoon.

Mulberries - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Mulberries – Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is 1 Samuel 12:24.

But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.

God has provided so many things for me. Sometimes it’s tempting to believe that we have gotten all that we have through our own intellect or our own skills, but that’s just pride talking. Any good thing in my life has come from God, and I have a lot of good things.

But I take everything for granted, I think. My friends. My family. My job. My house. Because on the bad days, I feel like I have nothing, and I feel like God isn’t working at all, and I start to wonder if He really keeps His promises.

I don’t know why He puts up with me.

He’s so much more patient than I am. If I had been half as good to someone else as He has been to me and they treated me like I treat Him, I would have given up years ago. But not God. His love baffles me.

Today’s verse actually comes out of a similar situation. The people of Israel, who God had chosen and blessed and taken care of and rescued and all that jazz over and over and over again for generations, had decided that they wanted a king other nations could see instead of an All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Always-There God they couldn’t. Samuel, their High Priest who served as God’s mouthpiece, told them they were making a mistake, but they were insistent.

So God gave them what they wanted. A king who looked good but didn’t have much going on inside, but that’s a different story. What is interesting to me is how God reacted in the first place.

If you have a chance, read 1 Samuel 12. Samuel stands up in front of the people of Israel and reminds them of everything God has done for them. And he warns them that if they forget God and how He cared for them that they would have to endure some suffering until they remember who God is.

Throughout Scripture, God has always demonstrated His love and faithfulness for the people of Israel. The Old Testament is brimming with stories of how God rescued them from danger and how they turned around and forgot him a short time later. And as a child, I used to think that they were the stupidest people on the planet. But am I much different?

God has opened doors for me that I could never have opened on my own. He has provided a comfortable place for me to live that I could never have provided for myself. He has given me a wonderful family, incredible friends, etc. etc. etc. So many good things. And after He has saved me and rescued me and given me more blessings than I can handle, I turn around and forget and start worrying about tomorrow. 

I’m just as bad as the children of Israel. And God is just as faithful to me as He was to them.

Forgetting is dangerous. Because if we forget where our blessings come from, we’ll start thinking we did it ourselves. And then when trouble comes again, we’ll rely on ourselves. And there’s no power there.

Samuel warned the people of Israel not to forget God. And maybe that generation listened, but the generation afterward didn’t get the memo. And even the king himself wasn’t paying much attention. And God was forced to remind them.

It works the same way in our lives. So don’t forget. Or God will have to remind us who He is.

Snow in the chicken wire

You can’t trust the weather in Kansas

Winter is the longest season. I love winter. I love snow, when I don’t have to drive on it. The same with ice. And I actually like being cold because I can always get warm. But by the middle of winter, it gets old. Carrying a coat and bundling up is a hassle. I miss my flip-flops and tank tops. I miss flowers and leaves. By the middle of winter I’m ready for spring.

Today’s verse is actually a whole Psalm. I tried to pull out a verse or two, but the whole thing is just so good, I couldn’t pick one. It’s short, though.

Snow in the chicken wire

Snow in the chicken wire - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

 Psalm 130

1 From the depths of despair, O LORD,
      I call for your help.
 2 Hear my cry, O Lord.
      Pay attention to my prayer.

 3 LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
      who, O Lord, could ever survive?
 4 But you offer forgiveness,
      that we might learn to fear you.

 5 I am counting on the LORD;
      yes, I am counting on him.
      I have put my hope in his word.
 6 I long for the Lord
      more than sentries long for the dawn,
      yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
      for with the LORD there is unfailing love.
      His redemption overflows.
 8 He himself will redeem Israel
      from every kind of sin.

Life is something like the seasons. We go through periods of growth, where everything we touch blossoms. We go through droughts. We go through periods of change. And we go through times of difficulty when nothing grows and everything looks dead. And in the winters of our lives, it can be challenging to remember that spring always comes again. The seasons are an example of how God sometimes chooses to work in our lives.

As a Kansan, I have learned not to trust the seasons. I’m thankful to live in a state that experiences all four seasons, even though sometimes we experience all four seasons in the same week. But I don’t trust the weather. At all. This winter has been very strange in south-central Kansas. We just finished days in the 70s only to drop into highs in the 30s and 40s.

The main image for this post was taken on February 7. Here’s another image that was taken yesterday, March 7:

Apricot blossoms

Yes. Apricot blossoms. On my apricot trees. I took this photo yesterday, without a coat. Then, overnight, we had a thunderstorm and it hailed. A lot. So it’s likely that all my apricot blossoms are now gone, beaten to death and blown away, and the ones that remained were probably frozen because it’s currently around 30 outside now. This is life in Kansas. As it has been established in previous posts, I don’t like waiting. And though I’m thankful for the warmer weather, I want it to be cold and get it over with. Because then spring can come for real and things can start growing again.

Just like you can’t trust the weather in Kansas, you can’t trust the seasons of your life. Even though you may be struggling through a drought, that doesn’t mean God won’t send rain. Even though you may be cold and alone in the dark, that doesn’t mean you won’t still be blessed. And in the days when everything is going well, you’ll still experienced storms.

The one factor you can trust is God.

We can count on Him. We can put our hope in Him. Because He has proven Himself over and over and over again throughout thousands of years of human history.

So no matter what season of life you’re in right now, don’t let the weather get you down. If it’s unusually cold for summer or spring, enjoy it. If it’s unusually warm for winter or fall, enjoy it. If it’s what you expected, enjoy it. If it’s not anything like what you expected, find a way to enjoy it. Because it will change. That’s what seasons do. And you can trust that God won’t allow anything into your life that won’t help you grow closer to Him.