But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. ~Isaiah 49:14-16
It is when we feel forgotten that we begin to forget.
It is when we feel forsaken—abandoned, deserted—that we begin to abandon what we have known to be true.
It is when we think God is disappointed in us that we begin to feel disappointed in him.
How do we avoid these seasons of “forgetfulness?” How do we keep ourselves from tasting the bitter waters of disillusionment? How do we stay faithful when we feel faithless?
We must be intentional in our pursuit.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. ~Psalm 63:1
“God, I’m thirsty and weary. I’m filled with longing, I don’t feel close to you. . . but I will seek you.”
I said,“Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” ~Psalm 77:6
We must try to remember. Remember all of the times God revealed himself to us, all of the times he DID break through and help us when we needed him. We must remember his sacrifice and the miracle of salvation—the newness of life he freely has given to everyone who chooses to follow him. We can do this by reading Scripture or surrounding ourselves with things and people who can encourage us in our desert journey. I have found praying with friends, even weekly, to be very helpful.
Then my spirit made a diligent search: “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
. . . You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people . . . Selah ~Psalm 77:7-19
. . . I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. ~Psalm 63:6-8
The Psalmists never sugar-coated things. They poured out their hearts honestly. In times of trouble, we can do the same. Instead of choosing the path of forgetfulness, let’s choose to stay on the path of life and peace. Even in the darkest, most difficult hours of our life, we have a Comforter.
My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” For I have become like a wine skin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes. ~Psalm 118:81-83
The Lord is always at work; he will never abandon or forget the work of His hands . . . and WE are his workmanship. We may not understand the journey but when we faithfully pursue our Shepherd, we can and we will find rest for our souls.
. . . Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. . . ~Psalm 77:20
If you have found yourself in a place of “forgetfulness” the path to remembrance is not far. Open the Scriptures. Call a friend. Sing. Whatever it takes! Remember . . . his faithfulness, love, mercy, kindness, power, strength, grace, trustworthy-ness . . . and find rest.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. ~Isaiah 30:15