Aaron and I walked into our Dillon’s store one day this week. He had happily agreed to my idea of getting him a Cheddar Pasta Salad for supper. As we walked in the door, he quickly took off in the opposite direction from me.
“Aaron,” I said to his back as he briskly walked away, “you need to come and find me when you’re done!”
I quickly got the salad. No Aaron.
As I walked to the meat section, looking up each aisle…no Aaron.
I bought some meat. No Aaron.
I looked up each aisle that I passed again. No Aaron.
Finally, I went back to my original location.
There he was, amid the flowers on one side and the boxed bakery treats on the other. He had seen me. He took off toward me in a run, holding two jars of peanuts, his face covered in a huge smile of relief.
“MOM!” he repeated.
“Don’t run, Aaron,” I admonished.
But afraid of losing me again, he ran anyway.
“I thought you had left me!” he dramatically stated as he dumped his jars of peanuts in the cart.
“I would never leave you,” I replied. “You’re the one who left me.”
“But I thought you had gone, so I told a lady who works here to page you,” he excitedly answered.
“Oh, Aaron! Did you really?!” I asked.
“YES!!” he said. “I told her I couldn’t find my mom and I thought you had left and would she page you.”
I was actually pretty impressed that he had thought about paging me. He saw the employee in self-checkout that he had spoken to.
“Is this your mom?” she asked.
“YES!!” Aaron told her. “She didn’t leave me!”
We laughed…and there I stood, feeling like the mom who routinely abandons her son, being eyed by the customers who would never do such a thing. 😊
As I scanned the groceries, and kept reminding Aaron to calm down, I was also reminding him of all our past history.
“Aaron, have I ever, ever left you anywhere?” I asked him.
He said no, but…
“No, Aaron, just remember that I have never left you and I would never leave you,” I continued.
This past January I chose a word for the year. I’ve never done that before but this year I felt impressed to choose the word “Remember” for my word of the year.
I’m reading and studying through the book of Deuteronomy. Moses was preparing the children of Israel to enter the Promised Land. It was a land of “milk and honey,” full of good ground and many resources.
But it was also full of danger from inhabitants who hated the God of Israel and who fully intended to kill all the Israelites.
So, there were the weary travelers who had just spent 40 years wandering through the desert, and God wanted them to conquer this land.
“Really, God?” they questioned. “And just how are we supposed to do THAT?!”
And Moses said, “REMEMBER!!”
“…you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well REMEMBER what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.” (Deut. 7:18)
How easy it is for us to forget God when we are surrounded by the stresses and bad news in our lives!
Or we don’t really forget God, but we forget all the many ways that He has shown Himself faithful to us over the years.
Sometimes we simply forget WHO God is.
And when we do that, we focus on our situations and not on God.
This quote jumped out at me this week and planted itself firmly in my heart:
“FEAR IS THE FRUIT OF FORGETFULNESS.” (Raymond Brown)
Over and over, Moses told Israel to remember all the works of God and all the ways He had led them. And the only fear they were to have?
“You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him…” (Deut. 6:13)
This fear means to have reverential trust in God.
There is plenty to fear today in our personal lives; in the lives of our families; in our nation and in our world.
I don’t know about you, but I have had – even just this week – several opportunities to practice fearing (trusting) God instead of fearing my circumstances.
You see, trust and a lack of fear does not involve understanding my circumstances.
Trust and a lack of fear involves knowing and understanding God.
There is so much I don’t understand today.
But I DO know and understand this:
“Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God Who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” (Deut. 7:9)
I affirmed to Aaron that I would never leave him.
And may I never forget that God affirms to me the same.