I think most of us have a forgetful streak (some of us it’s more than a streak). And for the most part the things we forget have little consequence in what matters most. Sure we may find ourselves delayed leaving our house because our keys are misplaced or feeling badly that we forgot a good friend’s birthday. However in the large scheme of things there is little life consequence. As a person who is seeking to follow God, there are actually two things we often forget that can have some very difficult consequences in our lives. When we forget these two things about God we will find ourselves worrying more, stressing more and sinning more. In fact without these two things being believed and top of mind for us we will be more susceptible to all kinds of temptations. Temptations are “fallen for” when we succumb to the lies that whatever they’re asking us to do will give us what we really want and long for in life. (And by contrast, the lie that God isn’t for us or able to provide what we really need and long for.)
Here’s the reality about us humans especially when we get connected in a group of other humans: we tend to turn inward. I don’t know that we do it on purpose or that we have any poor intentions but it just happens. We really enjoy the feeling of being connected and belonging some place. It’s not that we don’t care about people who are on the outside, we just don’t think about it. I mean life is busy and when we get a minute of true connection we just want to bask in it. The reality is connection is what we are made for, God hardwired it into us. So being connected and enjoying life with others is not wrong, it’s very very right. Yet, knowing this tendency about ourselves is important if we’re going to make sure that we both belong AND create belonging for others.
I find it fascinating that we assume God is on our side when things are going well. I hear people say, “God answered that prayer”. And what do they mean? They mean their situation turned out the way they hoped it would be. We don’t say, “praise God, He answered my prayer” when He answers us “no”. At least I haven’t heard that before. In fact I rarely even find someone willing to say “praise God” when things are not going the way we’d hope. Now, to be fair, I’ve met some who will thank God for being there with them in the midst of a difficultly but it’s often long after the difficultly has passed. But what about in the midst of it? Is God still good when He doesn’t do what we want Him to do?