Christian Devotionals

"Don’t you forget about Me"

I often poke fun at the ancient Israelites for having terrible memories concerning God. You know the drill: God rescues them, defends them from their enemies, gives them good health and provides them with food and water, only to have them complain or panic at the first sign of trouble. It’s as if they had no memory whatsoever of God’s faithful provision, protection and blessings. There’s grumbling when there should be gratitude and there’s doubt when there should be faith. What’s with these people anyway? God had a spectacular track record when it came to watching over and providing for His children. Well here’s a newsflash for all of us: God hasn’t changed. He still watches over us and provides for His children. God continues to work on our behalf whether it’s readily apparent or behind the scenes.  Unfortunately, God’s children today behave much like God’s children did thousands of years ago (yeah, just like those Israelite ingrates). At the first sign of trouble, we panic or complain. We focus on our problems and forget to give thanks for our blessings. Call it our pesky human nature or the weakness of the flesh, but the fact still remains – it’s sinful. We need to knock this off. Yes that’s right, I used the term “we,” because I’m just as guilty as anyone.

Many of you know that I was diagnosed with cancer last year. God used this trial to get me to become totally reliant on Him for everything. He also used this life threatening illness to get me to slow down and appreciate all the wonderful things He’s given me. It has taught me to treasure each day and enjoy the people God has put in my life – like my wife, kids, family and friends. During my darkest hour, I experienced joy and peace on an inexplicable level. I found calmness and peace during the biggest storm of my life and I attribute it all to my surrendering of this situation to Jesus. Regarding gratitude, I was more grateful to the Lord during this period than at any other time in my unappreciative life. Real heart change was taking place and by His grace, I was able to not only endure this trial, but to prosper during it.

Well just when you think that you’re getting someplace in your spiritual walk, old habits and life’s circumstances have a funny way of reminding you that you haven’t quite “arrived” yet. You see, my health has been steadily improving and I’m getting stronger by the day. My last CT-scan was promising and this resulted in a several month reprieve from chemotherapy. All great news, right? Yes it is great news, however, as my health improves, I’ve grown a little restless and impatient. As concerns about dying diminish, concerns about finances and the future direction of this ministry have resurfaced. Contributions to the ministry are way down and paying engagements are far and few between. During these past few weeks I started to get a little panicky and yes, I even started grumbling again. Just like my Israelite brothers who forgot about God’s provision – like how He parted the Red Sea, provided them with bread from heaven and blessed them with shoes that never wore out - I also started to forget about God’s provision.

My memory was dulled to such blessings as providing me with health insurance just before I was diagnosed with cancer. I neglected to remember the generous gifts we received from friends ranging from meals to money. And of course, I was a little fuzzy about how the Lord sustained me through major surgery and six months of chemo.

So here I am, surrounded by people who love me, still involved in ministry and blessed with yet another year of life. Praise be to God! It’s ironic how we’re often least grateful to God when things are going well in our lives (as in my case). What snapped me out of my murmuring mood? Today I went to the oncology clinic to get the chemo port in my chest flushed (right after a solid one hour workout at the gym). Unlike the other cancer patients who were going to be there for hours, I was in and out in ten minutes. “Wow,” I remember saying to myself, “I could be in there with an IV in my chest receiving toxic chemicals.” So I praised God for this chemo reprieve, prayed for the people receiving chemo and headed back home with a grateful heart. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but I’m enjoying the blessings of today and I’m grateful that I have a Savior who loves me and will care for me until I’m called home. Sure the money problems haven’t gone away, but I’m going to continue to trust the God who can part seas, rain down bread from heaven and heal me of cancer. He’s never forsaken me before and He promises never to forsake us period (Deut.31:6, Heb. 13:5).Please take a few moments throughout your day to remember God and thank Him for His many blessings. If you’re facing a problem or a crisis, try praying instead of panicking. God will come through for you.

“be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Deuteronomy 6:12 (New International Version)

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