“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)
I’m arguably one of the worst tourists ever. I have been to several places around this amazing world and I don’t have much to show for it, except for my memories, which as my wife will tell you, is more like a colander than it is a steel trap.
I have an Instagram account, but I post a picture on there maybe once a month, so I’m really not good at documenting my life. In Deuteronomy 4:9 we’re told to “watch ourselves closely so that we don’t forget.” The idea behind “watching closely” here really means to “vehemently guard,” to vehemently guard the things you’ve learned about God so you don’t forget what He’s done in your life.
It hasn’t taken long to forget many of my adventures in this life, and sadly I don’t have any pictures to share with my kids and talk with them about them. But there’s something far more vital that I must never forget and make sure I do tell my kids, and that’s of how God has shown His love to me in this life over and over again.
I will tell them about the foolish mistakes I have made and even then, God still loves me and accepts me. I will tell them of the joys of marrying their mom and their births, how God has blessed me beyond measure with them.
I will tell them of the hurt I’ve had when people I know and care for have committed suicide or died way too young and He reminds me that He still loves them and is with me.
I will tell them of the doubts I have had about God and how when I doubted toward faith, God made Himself so real to me yet again.
I won’t be able to show them pictures of my trips to Rome and Florence and Sicily, Iraq and Kuwait, Germany and Panama or the various other places I have had the joy of experiencing and whom I experienced them with. However, I can tell them about a living, loving, just and merciful God who will be with them at all times; joy or sorrow, passion or doubt and everything in between.
This Lent season, as you remember and reflect on Jesus Christ and His willing sacrifice for you, I pray that you would vehemently guard the love of God in your life and imprint them on the lives of your children and your children’s children. And please, take pictures along the way in life, your kids will love it…so I hear.
Pastor Kirby Oaks is associated with Sheridan Wesleyan Church and is a Pastors United in Christ member.