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Oh, I remember!

It was Douglas MacArthur who reminded us, "You are remembered for the rules you break." It isn't the list of ones we keep that come to mind when others think of us at times, but those we might have not done so good of a job with! We take that one monumental stumble down some wrong path and wouldn't you know, it becomes a thing of infamy we cannot live down! Maybe it is actually us doing the remembering, holding those "broken rules" against ourselves, not willing to let go of their memory or the hold those stumbles seem to have on us. Either way, we find ourselves dealing with continual embarrassment, coupled with the desire to just have it forgotten!

Help me understand your instructions, and I will think about your wonderful teachings. I am sad and tired. Say the word, and make me strong again. Don’t let me live a lie. Guide me with your teachings. I have chosen to be loyal to you. I respect your laws. I follow your rules closely, Lord. Don’t let me be put to shame. I do my best to follow your commands, because you are the one who gives me the desire. (Psalm 119:27-32 ERV)

Remembering, or being remembered for our failures can be kind of tiring. We just want it to "go away", if even for a little while. Why do our falls become monumental, while our day-to-day obedient steps almost blend into the woodwork? I think it is because we humans like to have things we can sensationalize because it takes the pressure off of us - if even for a little while. We need only look as far as the evening news to realize that! More and more "reality" shows come out all the time, sensationalizing everything from a bunch of strangers trying to live with each other to survive on deserted islands, to courtroom verdicts being passed down while our dirty laundry is made public to the masses. 

Being remembered for, or us being the ones to continually remind ourselves of those stumbles will get us into a place where we become weighed down (sad) and exhausted by attempting to manage through those emotions (tired). We do our best - God does the rest. Have you ever heard that one? It is from this passage! We put one foot in front of the other, even if it is to "rework" a place we have already managed to stumble into repeatedly because of our disobedience. We don't allow that place of our failure to become the place we allow to form our identity. David could have found his identity in being an adulterer, or even a murderer, but he didn't. Did those things probably "get remembered" about him, or even by him from time to time? You bet! Did he allow these things to keep him from his relationship with God, or affect the way he knew God saw him? No!

God doesn't remember us by our failures - he remembers us by his touches of grace and deep furrows of his love he has worked into the places of our lives where he most needs to "work" his work. Herein lies our greatest challenge - allowing ourselves to see God's handiwork as he sees it - but when we begin to see ourselves and others as seen through his eyes, the thing we see is how much his love moves us closer to obedience and further away from our failures! Just sayin!

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