As parents, we constantly remind our children, “Don’t forget to turn in your homework. Don’t forget to raise your hand before speaking. Don’t forget to say please and thank you. Don’t forget to make God smile.” As each day begins, we run through the gamut of things we do not want them to forget. Though simple they may seem, each yields a greater life lessons which will impact them for years to come.
A couple of nights ago, all was well in the Williams’ home. Dinner cooked…check. Baths done…check. Kitchen clean…CHECK! Kids in bed on time…check! My hubby and I were about to breathe that sigh of relief you give when the day is done, when all of a sudden, we heard the soft voice of our oldest child say, “Mommy, I’m scared!” It had only been minutes since I left her side, but up the stairs I went. As I sought to understand what had transpired in such a short period of time, she began to tell me how the shadows on her wall were causing her to be afraid. Not an unusual occurrence, but because this issue had been addressed a number of times before, I simply reminded her, “Chloe, don’t forget that shadows only look big and scary, but are actually much smaller objects when the lights are on.” She buried her face in the pillow. I stayed with her a few more moments, and before long, she was asleep.
In much the same way, our heavenly Father reminds us of the truth.
Each day, I believe, He tenderly says, “My child, don’t forget… Don’t forget that My love is different from the world’s. It is unconditionally. Don’t forget to stay on the path of righteousness. It may only be traveled by a few, but I will be with you. Don’t forget to be kind, even to those who despitefully use you. Don’t forget that I chose you and have a plan and purpose that is crafted just for you. Don’t forget to ask Me for help. You cannot do it on your own. Don’t forget to cast your cares on Me. I am here for you and care for you. Don’t forget it means more for you to look like Me in deeds than in words alone.”
But so often, the darkness of the world shifts our focus away from the Light of the World and we find ourselves staring intently at the shadows.
The shadows, which cause our children to tremble beneath the sheets, can emit the same emotional response in us as we seek to single-handedly manage the circumstances of life. We often allow the shadows of life to become overbearing. But dwelling on their presence reveals a failure to remember His. Think about this….a shadow is only visible when illuminated by light. The presence of light brings revelation. The only recourse is for the situation, circumstance, struggle, hardship to appear greater than it really is. But as I told our daughter, when we allow light to do that which it was created to do, truth is exposed and reality is revealed.
I’m not sure about you, but I appreciate His continuous taps on the shoulder as my gentle reminder that things are not as bad as they seem. I consider them gifts of grace. When we allow ourselves to become consumed by the darkness and fearful of the shadows, the mellowness of His still, small voice saying, “Don’t forget” is a mercy-filled memento that reminds us He is with us and for us. I am so glad He is the Light of the World. For only when we are connected to Him is truth exposed and reality revealed.
Don’t forget that!