Hey, can I let you in on a little secret?
Yes, you. Right here, right now.
I have a pretty good memory, for the most part. I can recall so many details from conversations and places and events that happened ten years ago. I can remember sights, smells, tastes, emotions, all so vividly.
But there is one thing that I can so easily forget…and that’s goodness.
Not goodness in the world, I don’t mean that. Look up random acts of kindness on Tumblr and they’re right there. Goodness isn’t too difficult to find in people’s actions, even when this sinful world’s in chaos.
But sometimes…I forget those simple truths I’ve known for years. Sometimes, I forget the goodness of God.
Sometimes I forget that He wants only what’s best for me.
Sometimes I forget that His ways are higher than mine, even when – no, especially when I’m in the midst of pain.
Sometimes, I forget that even when the world is falling apart, there is One who holds the reins, and will make all things new again.
I’ve started this tradition for myself. It was birthed out of a love for Sharpie markers and fantasies of washable tattoos when I was twelve…and yet here it is again, staring me right in the face.
I now have these pens, black and inky, smoothly gliding over paper and skin, and when I find myself forgetting the promises of God, I write them on my hands.
Sometimes the reminding words are simple. Like love. Hope. Joy. Peace.
Sometimes these reminders are found in phrases that say “don’t forget the good,” as I penned yesterday. Some phrases say “give thanks.” Or “grace is here.”
And other times, they’re simple little symbols – a heart – a cross – a teardrop – sparrows – a moon. Little icons that remind me of love, of hope in the Cross when things seem bleak, of the One who holds my tears in His bottle (Psalm 56:8), who cares about me as He does the sparrows (Matthew 10:29).
As humans, we’re emotional creatures, and me especially – when things are dark and dreary, it’s easy to look to feelings rather than promises to put our trust in.
I’ve done it so many times, looked to those things that change for answers, when really, I need to be looking at the Unchanging One.
The other night, I was gazing at the moon, and thought of God. We see all the different sides of the moon – we see the banana-boat moons, the almost-full moons, the half-moons, and the no-moon skies right before we see a glimpse of it again.
And isn’t that often how we see God? We see Him in different lights day after day, season after season. We think we’re seeing different things, we think God has left us, or that He cares about us less.
But as we know with the moon, it’s not the moon that changes. It’s always there in the sky, always round, always waiting to give us light. We know better than to say the moon changes night after night, because we know that it’s our perspective that’s constantly changing.
So why is it any different with God?
Why do we doubt Him, when it’s simply clouds keeping us from remembering His steady goodness?
Why do we question His faithfulness when we can still fight to see a sliver?
And why do we disbelieve He’s there when we can’t feel Him?
I’m so guilty of this, I truly am…and that’s why I have my pen-marked remembrances. Why I mark up my wrists and fingers and palms with seemingly-random words, with moons, and birds, and short phrases.
And a few days later, when I’ve been reminded once more of the Truths set before me, the water begins to wash away the ink. I take rubbing alcohol and slowly wipe my skin clean, a new slate for the next remembrance.
Because we all forget, sometimes.
So read, read the Scripture. Fix your mind on Truth, and find your way of remembering.
Remember the goodness of God…even when life is not.
Remember the One we can trust…even when there is no one else to trust.
Remember the love found in the Cross…even when love seems far away.
Remember the unchanging nature of God, like the moon…even when the rest of the world seems to shift and crumble.
Remember the steady faithfulness found in God Himself, day after day, one tumultuous emotion after another, in the joy-filled and devastated moments alike.
Because He, ultimately, is the One worth putting our faith in.