Moments or Memories
Psalm 119:55 “O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, and keep Your law.”
Throughout her corporate life, my mother-in-law was a reckoning force. She called the shots, and rightly so. Her knowledge of the corporate world was unequaled. Fast forward to the present and you will find only the shell of this once authoritative woman. The years have not been kind to her mind and she sadly acknowledges her struggle to remember how to answer even the simplest of questions.
Because she enjoys outings, a trip for ice cream is our weekly excursion. One week as we were walking her back to her room with drips of chocolate down the front of her blouse, she looked at us and asked, “When are you going to take me to get ice cream?” My husband replied, “Mom, we are just returning from getting ice cream. Look at the front of your blouse and you will see.” She looked down at the chocolate drips and smiled, recalling for a moment the delicious memory of the ice cream.
"Bless her heart," as we say in the south. How very sad to forget something so wonderful so quickly. Thank goodness for the chocolate drips on her shirt that allowed her memory to linger a while longer.
Sometimes in my relationship with God, I have spiritual dementia. How often do I enjoy the moments of God yet quickly lose the memories? The act of remembering is important to God and serves a spiritual purpose in our lives. In the NIV Bible, the word, “remember,” is used 166 times. Here are a few ways He instructs us to remember:
1) We are instructed to take care to remember the Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:12) He is the Great I Am, the God Almighty, the God Most High, and the Everlasting God. He is the beginning and the end of all. He is Lord. He is Master. He is our loving Father.
2) We are told to remember the Words of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:35) The words of Jesus lead us toward a victorious life here on earth and to eternal life with the Father. His words provide radical truths for how to love, how to serve, and how to die to self.
3) Psalm 77:11 tells us to remember the Deeds of the Lord. He has loved us, protected us, redeemed us, and disciplined us. Remembering his love and sacrifice on our behalf offers us hope and peace as His child. God has always been and will be forever active in our lives.
4) In Isaiah 46:9, we are told to remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other. Our God is a jealous God and desires above all else to take number-one place in our lives. When we remember God’s past goodness, we hold hope for the future.
5) God tells us to remember, therefore, from where you have fallen and repent. (Revelation 2:5) God calls us to remember the difficult things we would rather forget. But, without remembering our sins, we cannot be called to repent from our sin which separates us from our loving Father.
We continue taking Granny for ice cream, even though we realize we are only making moments and no longer creating memories. But, God desires that we remember all He is and all He has done. Like Granny who looked at the chocolate on her shirt to recall her ice cream memory, today let us look for evidence of a Father who loves us beyond imagination.
As we walk with you, Father, may we remember who you are, who we are in relationship to you, and who you want us to be. Help us preserve memories of your goodness and use them to your glory.