“Take heed lest you forget the Lord your God, by not keeping his commandments and his ordinances and his statutes, which I command you this day:
Leon, an elderly man in our church of blessed memory, used to go around handing out $2 bills to people, always with a big smile on his face. When he gave one to me he said, “If you keep this in your wallet, you’ll never be broke.” I still have that $2 bill, and our kids have theirs also. I don’t keep it in my wallet though. I’m always afraid I might spend it in some moment of weakness, especially considering I almost never carry cash with me.
I keep that $2 bill on my dresser. Every time I see it I’m reminded of Leon’s generous, loving spirit, how he exemplified Christ to me, and how blessed I am. I have food, health, shelter, and family! What more could I ask for? Our spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting should be like that $2 bill. They should remind us of how much God has blessed us and of His great plans for us. The Lenten season is a time for Christians to be reminded of what a generous, loving Heavenly Father we have.
In the western world, we have so much abundance, too often we must work at being thankful. If we aren’t reminding ourselves of God’s abundant provisions in our lives we tend to think we built all of them ourselves. While thankfulness for God’s blessings should be a daily state of mind, I am thankful for a church that calls us to remember. We need to remember not only all God’s blessings, but all His deliverance as well.
The children of Israel inherited a land flowing with milk and honey, a land God gave to them. He knew in their success they would forget Him. The best remedy for not forgetting is to live daily in a spirit of thankfulness. For me, Lent is a season to remember how blessed I am, especially how “Forgiven” I am. As a way of saying, “Thanks” to the Father, I offer up fasting, and concentrated times of prayer and meditation.
How’s your memory? Are you living gratefully for the blessings of life? Or, like the Israelites, have you forgotten just where you came from and who delivered you? If so, take some time this Lenten season to let God remind you of all his blessings, and as an act of love, offer up times of prayer and fasting.
My daily Lenten prayer – “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit. ” NRSV