“And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” (13:14)
Remembering God’s faithfulness is key to remaining faithful. The Jews have this advantage of festivals throughout the year, which celebrate different markers of God’s faithfulness. Their calendar is full of them. Western Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter, as our annual reminders of Jesus, but these too have been conveluted with their pagan calendar corresponders.
I think this provides an opportunity. There’s plenty of room in the year to remember specific displays of God’s faithfulness to your family. This could look like a holiday, or maybe a piece of art in your home.
After our family’s first international missions trip to Italy in 1998, we were all forever changed. Not only us, our church family, and our Italian sister-church family. It was as if we could feel ourselves a part of history.
Inspired by this, my mom made a sign for our livingroom, surrounded by pressed flowers in the shape of a heart, saying:
“We will never forget what God did in the hearts in Italy.”
And that’s true. We haven’t forgot. My sister, Brittany, works for the missions organization which coordinated that trip. I am in full time missions, and so is our other sister, Natalie. Our church has returned numerous times since that first trip (usually every other year, but there have been some back to back years, also several trips to other cities in Italy). The church in Italy has grown and planted two more.
God did something in that time that shaped us all. I’m so thankful my mom made a reminder. I wish I had thought to make more things like that. God has done much more in my life since then, all deserving monuments or celebrations.
Not this time, but the next time Israel crossed a body of water on dry land (the Jordan river when they head into Canaan), they collect rocks from the middle of the riverbed to build a memorial on the other side.
Has God brought you out of something you still can’t believe you survived? Keep something from the darkest part of that trial and remember His faithfulness.
I have a friend, younger than me, who lost her husband a year ago. He died suddenly. She recently posted a picture someone had taken of her in her disparity, and boldly used it to share the gospel. Can you believe I was there and now God has led me here? “If you don’t know Christ, don’t you want to?”
The point is, we need to remember who God has been to us: A divider of seas, a rear guard, protecting us from our pursuers, a liberator from slavery, a miracle worker, attentive to our cries. How can we better remind ourselves of this? One day our kids can tug at our sleeves and say, “what’s that about?” And we can respond, “with a powerful hand, The LORD brought us out of the house of slavery.”