Open Your Bible
Deuteronomy 4:1-9, Deuteronomy 4:32-39, Joshua 4:1-24, Psalm 143:4-6, Luke 22:14-20, 2 Peter 1:12
BY Erin Davis
If you’ve ever loved someone with dementia you know that my next statement is true: their minds are like a lamp with a frayed electrical cord. Flip the switch and the light might flicker on once, twice, ten times, or even a thousand times. But then, there is a short circuit. You flip the switch and there is only darkness as their memories grow dim or go dark completely.
It’s unthinkable that we could forget our spouse of fifty years, the babies we rocked, the grandchildren who first called us “Nana” or “Papa.” Except, sometimes we do. It is possible for the silhouettes of our very favorite faces to become fuzzy, for the memories of our very best days to drift out of reach.
God has always been good. He has always been faithful. We may meditate on His character once, ten times, or even a thousand, and see the light of truth flicker on in our hearts. But then, there is a short circuit. We simply forget who God truly is. Mustard-seed faith becomes too hard to muster up, and we can’t recall the memories of His kindness toward us. Our brokenness, it seems, has frayed our heartstrings. Spiritually speaking, all of God’s children are prone to forget what He has done. Through His Word, God shows us that remembrance isn’t passive. It’s not a fleeting memory or a fanciful notion. Remembrance is a verb, an action, a choice that allows us to hold tightly to the truth of who God is.
When God’s children crossed the Jordan into the land they’d long longed for, God commanded them to remember (Joshua 4). He ordered men to place stones on their shoulders. But these stones were not mere pebbles. They were stones of remembrance that required each man to stoop, to pick up, to haul their memories of what God could do.
When Jesus gathered with His disciples in the upper room on the eve of His crucifixion, He implemented a similar object lesson, an act to do “in remembrance” of Him (Luke 22:19). It’s hard to fathom that Christ’s friends could forget the sermons they’d heard delivered straight from the Son of God. Unthinkable that they’d ever deny that He was who He said He was. But they could. They did. In His mercy, Jesus was showing them (and through them, showing us), how to remember the things that matter most.
When the psalmist faced a dark night of the soul and struggled to see the light of hope, he defaulted to rhythms of remembrance: I remember. I meditate. I reflect (Psalm 143:4–5). As he reached for His memories of God’s deeds from the past, the light came back on.
We are people of faith with frayed cords. Until Christ’s return, we will always have moments of forgetfulness. But God has given us the tool we need to close the circuit again. We need only to “remember the LORD’s works” (Psalm 77:11).