We Need to Remember
Memories are important and powerful, and they impact us in both positive and negative ways. More importantly, the Lord in His goodness has given us the ability to remember events in our lives to shape us and sanctify us. There are experiences in life that we never want to forget, and there are those that we sometimes wish we could forget.
I remember my twin sister comforting me when my mom was a little late picking us up from our first day of kindergarten. I remember the feeling of excitement when my high school soccer team beat our arch rival to advance to the state tournament. I remember my wife walking down the aisle on our wedding day and the overwhelming joy that rushed over me. I remember the heartache and sadness that filled my soul when the phone rang at 5:00 a.m. one June morning with the news that one of my sisters took her own life. I could go on and on and share memory after memory from my life, and I know we all could do the same. Our personal memories are important and we need to remember what happens to us in our lives.
As we turn to the Scriptures, remembering is a common refrain. God’s Word tells us to remember hundreds of times. The word “remember” appears in almost every book of the Bible. Just as our memories are mixed with good and bad, in Scripture some things we are told to remember are encouraging, and others are sober reminders of our sin and frailty. The Lord, by His grace, commands us to remember His truth and the way He has worked throughout the history of His people, and He uses these things we are told to remember to transform us into the image of Christ. Therefore, we can rejoice in the sweet memories and rest in Christ when our memories are painful or difficult.
The Lord tells His people to remember specific truths and events throughout history and in their own lives. Scriptures tells us to remember the deeds of the Lord (Psalm 77:11), to remember how short our time is (Psalm 89:47), to remember our Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1), and Israel is reminded many times to remember they were slaves in Egypt. Remembering the deeds of the Lord reminds me that God is at work in my life, other people’s lives, and throughout the world. When I remember my time is short I am motivated to seek and invest in things that are important and that will advance the Kingdom of God. God asked Israel time and time again to remember their slavery in Egypt, and this serves to remind us of our slavery to sin and how God through Christ has set us free!
Not only are we told to remember, but Scripture tells us that God remembers events in redemptive history and promises He has made. This gets to the heart of why remembering is important: When we remember, we are reflecting our Creator and are reminded that we are made in His image. If the Lord needs to remember, how much more do we need to remember? We are told how the Lord remembers His covenant numerous times throughout Scripture. The covenant He made with Abraham was a constant reminder to our Creator to bestow His goodness, mercy, and love upon His people, despite their rebellion and sin. Psalm 103:14 tells us that God remembers that we are dust. Through times of difficulty and trial how refreshing it is that the Lord remembers that we are frail and weak. We will not be forgotten because the Lord remembers us, as Psalm 115:12 reminds us. How wonderful and encouraging to know that just as we remember, our God remembers, and through remembering the eternal plan of God is unfolding.
So as we walk through ups and downs and twists and turns, may we remember what we have experienced and what Lord has commanded us to remember. In remembering, we can rest in His sovereign hand, knowing that not only do we remember, but we also have a God who remembers