Unfulfilled expectations usually lead to disappointment, and disappointment leads to discouragement.
And what I've learned over the last few months is that discouragement leads to forgetfulness.
The Israelites became discouraged in the wilderness. They became so discouraged that they forgot what it had been like to be slaves in Egypt. They forgot the beatings, the cruel taskmasters, the ways they were treated like animals. The Israelites forgot about the chains that bound them and bound the ones they loved. They forgot how God had protected them with the blood on their doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by. They forgot how He had led them safely out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. They forgot how He had satisfied their hunger with His sweet manna from heaven.
Their expectations of freedom had not been met.
They were disappointed.
They became discouraged and they forgot.
Well, discouragement has made me forget too.
The one who named her blog, Forget Not His Benefits.
I've forgotten what it was like not to see Ethan smile, not to hear his voice. I've forgotten what it was like not to hear him laugh. I've forgotten what it would have been like to visit Ethan in a nursing facility. I've forgotten what it was like to tell Ethan that I loved him and to not know if he heard me. I've forgotten what it was like to wish that I had one more minute with him, to tell him how proud I was that he was my son and that God had chosen me to be his mother. I've forgotten what it was like to look into his beautiful eyes and to not know if he could see me.
Yes. Discouragement makes us forget.
I don't know why, but when the Israelites were complaining in the wilderness, God sent fiery serpents that bit them.
"God is willing to go to great extremes to get us to understand that if we're not happy today, we'll not be happy tomorrow regardless of what comes our way or where we might be. Happiness is an "inside job." God allows His children to feel a lot of pain and even to die so that they might see and understand that He is with them. that He is enough for them, that He will care for them. If they don't learn to quit their complaining here [in the wilderness] they'll not experience it even in the Land of Promise." John Courson
God allowed the Israelites to be bitten by serpents, and He has allowed me to be bitten by the serpent of discouragement.
Because of God's great love and mercy, He always makes a way for us.
God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and to place it upon a pole. When the Israelites who were bitten by the serpents lifted their eyes to the brass serpent on the pole, they lived.
"God said the only thing we must do is realize we've been bitten and to look to the Serpent on the Cross. The one who does so will be made whole. It's just that simple." Courson
I confess that I've been bitten by the serpent of expectations (not God's promises), the serpent of disappointment and discouragement, and the serpent of forgetfulness.
Now, I turn my eyes to the Cross, and look to the One who is higher than all others. To the only One who is worthy of my gaze. I look to Jesus whose Grace covers me and heals me of all my sin, and all my hurts, and all of my bites.
"Let all the world look to me for salvation!
For I am God; there is no other."
"And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness,
so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."