Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give Me That Old Time Religion"1 (Lyrics)
One of the many important gifts that God has given to human beings is the ability to remember. While memories are sometimes unpleasant, most often they are helpful, enjoyable, and, in some circumstances, even essential, as our society could not function if no one could remember anything! Many of our daily activities are driven by repetitive habit.
It seems that the longer I live, the more happy memories come to mind. I find that it is best for me to forget the unhappy situations and to concentrate on the many happy experiences with which I have been blessed.
Certainly, as we age, loss of memory can cause us problems. About a decade ago, my children had a party to celebrate my 80th birthday. One of the guests, a little older than I was, said that he had a gift for me. When I eagerly asked about it, Wilf said, "Welcome to The Club! Now, when you forget something, you no longer have to apologize!" It seems that I have to use that explanation more and more.
I have learned various ways to compensate for this loss of memory. For example, I have a little book where I record birthday dates. In July, I sent a happy birthday email to a lady who had been extremely helpful to our family during the final months of my wife's life. In fact, Liberty was with my wife during her final hours. The greeting was only a small thing, but Liberty's response was, "You always remember my birthday."
I try to remember to call and sing "Happy Birthday" especially to fellow residents. When I called and sang to Frances when she reached 101 years, she politely thanked me for the call, but then, she said, "Don't give up your day job!"
While you can recall situations different than mine, I'm sure that you will also be thankful that God gives us opportunities to minister to others, even in small ways.
There many biblical commands where we are directed to remember. It is a consistent theme throughout the Bible, but a couple of my favourites are:
Exodus 20:8 – Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (NIV)
Revelation 2:5a – Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first. (NASB)
And if we forget, God will give us His help to remember:
John 14:26 – But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (NIV)
As we think about our capacity to remember, how can we use our memory to serve others? How can we look back on our lives and see where God has blessed us and our families? What Scriptures speak to us and remind us about God's great love and grace?
Prayer: Dear Father, thanks for giving the blessing of memory. While we can enjoy happy memories, help us to remember to bless others in any way we can. Most of all, may we never forget Your directions and continually follow Your leadership. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.