Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness.
Time and again God calls His people to remember: remember that you were slaves in Egypt, remember your departure from Egypt, remember what happened at the Red Sea, remember this, remember that, don’t forget this, don’t forget that. Remembering is essential for the Exodus journey and is raised to a moral imperative for God’s people. Remembering how the Lord God has led becomes a catalyst for their faith and emboldens them for the road ahead.
Novelist and pastor Frederick Buechner in his memoirs The Sacred Journey remembers the intersections of God with his life and concludes, “all theology, like fiction, is at its heart autobiography”. Buechner states:
If God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks…into the thick of it, or out of the thick of it, at moments of even the most humdrum of our days, God speaks.
As you pause to remember your life, how do you see God speaking to you? How do you see God speaking to you through blessings, through trials, through your own Wilderness time? Or, as Frederick Buechner might ask, “How has your autobiography become your theology?” As you sit with these questions consider the following words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe his goodness in delivering them, his mercy in pardoning them, and his faithfulness in keeping his covenant with them. But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of his goodness and of his truth, as much a proof of his faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before? We do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that he wrought all his mighty acts, and showed himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare his arm for the saints who are now upon the earth. Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence?…Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old.” (Morning by Morning)
Why not take some time in God’s presence to look back over your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your remembering. You might find the following Reflection activities helpful.
- On a sheet of paper, draw a line to represent your Exodus journey. Your line may have wanderings around in a circle, ups and own, back and forth, be jagged, curved etc. On this line you are representing your Exodus.
- At points along your line mark spots to represent significant milestones, experiences, changes, encounters with God or other people that have shaped your journey.
- You might want to draw symbols at significant points such as a Red Sea, a place of no water, a tent of meeting with God, manna provided, wanting to go back to Egypt, or afraid to move ahead.
- Indicate points in your Exodus where God seemed most near; indicate times when God seemed farthest away or non-existent.
- Place an “X” at the end of your line to represent where you see yourself in your Exodus journey.
- Look back over your Exodus journey remembering. Make note of the feelings you have as you remember.
- Continue on from the “X” with a dotted line indicating your “Promised Land”. Make note of what the Promised Land looks like for you. Are there giants in your Promised Land? Is there blessing and fulfillment?
- Take some moments to meet with God and talk with Him about where you desire your Exodus to take you.
- Add to this remembering by sharing your drawing with a loved one or close friend.