A thought has been swirling in my heart off and on for the past week about "looking back" and remembering. During this same time frame, another thought has been vying for attention within me: that of moving forward...leaving the past in the past. I actually spoke aloud in my car yesterday wondering how I am supposed to reconcile the two conflicting options that I feel drawn to meditate on, and this morning I am revisited with the wrestling match. I am just going to spread out the meal on the table, and allow you the opportunity to seek the Lord with me on this.
There are times to look back and remember. Israel was instructed to gather a stone per tribe from the midst of the riverbed of the Jordan as they crossed into the land of promise. Why? To remember. The Lord Jesus instituted a time of remembrance of His sacrifice, of the giving of His body and blood in the Lord's supper. He wanted us to have a time of remembering and meditating on what had happened, and may we never forget all that He went through for us.
Then you step into Scriptures like when the apostle Paul says that he forgets what is behind and presses on toward the mark. You can even jump back to Isaiah when the Lord instructed to "Forget the former things..." He was doing a new thing, and He wasn't limited to the way He had moved for Israel in time past.
Circling back around to the focal point of Ruth, she was praised by Boaz for her character - all that she had done for Naomi and how she had left her father, mother and home to come and take refuge under the Lord's wings. It reminds me of Psalm 45, as the psalmist is talking about the bride of the king:
"Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord."
We are the bride of Christ, and there is a time to remember the pieces of our journey along the way. There is a time to look back and use our past as lessons for our future and for the future of another. But may we never become trapped in our own Moab, because there is definitely a time to forget who we were before and cling to the One who delivered us from that past. When we become a new creation in Him, we have truly crossed from death to life. So may remembering only cause us to cling more tightly to Him, and may forgetting cause to never return to the pit from which He lifted us.
Father, there is a time to remember and a time to forget. There is a time to keep and a time to throw away. Don't let us cling to the past and disable our future, but don't let us forget all that You have done. Keep us in a balance, I pray. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:17