By Amy Storms
Parking lots are not my friends. Walmart, Target, the mall—it seems no matter where I go, I manage to misplace my minivan. One day, I very nearly called the police to report my vehicle stolen. As it turned out, I had parked in an entirely different lot.
I must have looked especially confused after another shopping trip, because the kind Walmart greeter left his post by the door and approached me. “Ma’am, can I help you with anything?” he asked.
I smiled. “Well, can you tell me where I left my van?”
He chuckled and shrugged and wished me well in the search.
If it weren’t for my son’s help a few months ago, I’d probably still be roaming the rows in the Target parking lot, dazed and pushing a cartful of purchases, asking God for divine intervention to make my minivan miraculously appear in the space ahead. Thankfully, Nathan isn’t as forgetful as his mother.
“Let’s see, now. Where did we park?”
“We’re over there, Mom.”
At least one of us remembers.
Forgetting the Faith
Forgetfulness is harmless enough when it comes to parking lots. But spiritually speaking, forgetfulness has serious ramifications. This year, I have forgotten a lot more than minivans. In many ways, amid several personal struggles and spiritual battles, I’ve forgotten God—his character and his power. Quite frankly, I have failed to make a point of remembering God, and as a result, I’ve forgotten his goodness and grace. When I haven’t intentionally reminded myself, I have forgotten how God gives, protects, and saves.
It sounds obvious enough, but when I don’t remember, I forget. Spiritual forgetfulness leaves me angry, afraid, and controlling. Rather than count my blessings, I resent all the ways God has “failed” me. When I forget his provision in the past, I’m scared of the future. Then, in my forgetfulness, I take matters into my own hands. Resentful and afraid, I try to control things myself, instead of remembering his unfailing love.
God knew I’d forget. He knew, as David said, that I am dust (Psalm 103:14). I am finite, frail, and flawed. God also knew just how dangerous forgetting could be, so he instructed his people to remember. “Forget not all his benefits,” wrote David (103:2). Remember, and teach it to your children. “When your son asks you . . . tell him,” said Moses (Deuteronomy 6:20, 21; 11:7). Remember what the Lord has done, and don’t forget who he is! “Remember!” says the Lord. “Remember this, and never forget” (9:7).
How to Remember
God was so serious about remembering that he ordained ways for his children to recall, on a regular basis, who he is and what he has done. In the Old Testament, one of God’s chosen methods of remembrance was the feast. Generations of Israelites journeyed to Jerusalem each year to celebrate the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
At Passover, Israel remembered how God brought them out of slavery into freedom. Pentecost reminded God’s people of his law, given through Moses. During the Feast of Tabernacles, while camped out in tents, Israel remembered the Lord’s faithful provision for 40 years in the desert. Year after year, Israel remembered.
On this side of the cross, God’s feast of remembrance is, of course, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Every week, fellow believers gather to share his body and blood. What could be more meaningful? As we partake in the death of Christ, we remember. We do not forget.
My friend Kyla told me about another feast of remembering. Her small group—several families within our church—had an end-of-the-year dinner together. It had been a tough season for their group. A young mom battled cancer, a family fought to stay afloat financially, and another couple had been close to divorce.
“As we ate, we talked about what a hard year it had been,” Kyla said. “I looked around the table and suddenly realized, God brought us through all of it! I couldn’t help but cry. He had been so faithful.”
Kyla remembered, just as God instructed. She did not forget.
In my home, we keep a gratitude journal on the buffet next to our dining room table. From time to time, when we “feast” together as a family, we open its pages and record God’s goodness. Then we read it together, again and again, just so we can remember.
My kids wrote my favorite entry in the gratitude journal a few years ago. I’d been so busy that day that I hurriedly microwaved a few frozen burritos for their lunch. Several weeks later, while dusting the buffet, I picked up the journal and leafed through it. I laughed and teared up at the same time when I read what my three kids had taken turns to write: “Burritos. Burritos! BURRITOS!”
Apparently, those burritos were better than I thought. “Forget not all his benefits,” David said (Psalm 103:2). Or in this case, “Forget not all his burritos!”
That day, my kids remembered. They did not forget.
Obeying God’s instruction to remember offers three rewards. First, remembering God helps me to trust rather than take control. Why take matters into my own hands when I can rest in God’s character and power? Remembering God leads me to trust him.
Second, when I remember God, I am confident. The enemy loves to make me forget God, because forgetfulness leaves me crippled by fear and anxiety. But when I remember the Lord—when I “remember this and never forget”—I can walk into an unknown future with boldness and confidence.
Third, when I remember God, I’m thankful. Instead of the resentment that forgetting brings, remembrance leads to thanksgiving. When I “forget not all his benefits,” I cannot help but say thank you. In fact, in Psalm 103, David’s list of blessings begins and ends with thanks: “Praise the Lord, my soul” (Psalm 103:1, 22).
Feasting on Him
Thanksgiving, of course, brings to mind a feast that originated four centuries ago with the sole purpose of remembering God. This Thursday, when my family gathers around the table, I’ll remember that it’s about more than turkey and cranberry sauce.
Remembering is much more than misplaced minivans or frozen burritos. Remembrance as God instructed is a life-giving, life-changing acknowledgment of God’s character and power. It’s an intentional, regular “feasting” on his goodness, his faithfulness, his sovereignty, and his love.
“Remember!” God says. “Remember who I am, and what I’ve done on your behalf.”
Lord, I will remember! I will remember you, and never forget.
Amy Storms is a freelance writer in Santa Clarita, California.
Christ in the Passover
by Ceil and Moishe Rosen
Christ in the Feast of Pentecost (Moody, 2008)
Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles (Moody, 2006)
by David Brickner
by J. Otis Ledbetter and Tim Smith
(David C. Cook, 2000)
One Thousand Gifts
by Ann Voskamp
“I AM” Messianic Passover Seder plate and booklet, available on Dayspring.com.
“In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?’ tell him: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand’” (Deuteronomy 6:20, 21).
“Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord” (Deuteronomy 9:7).
“But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done” (Deuteronomy 11:7).
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits . . . . for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust . . . . Praise the Lord, my soul” (Psalm 103:1, 2, 14, 22).
Five Reminders to Give Thanks
1. When your car breaks down and you have to call someone to pick you up, thank God for every person you could call to help you.
2. When your job is weighing down your soul, thank God for the way it allows you to provide for you and your family.
3. When you can’t afford the things you want, thank God for every sale and freebie that’s helped you get the things you have.
4. When you’re missing a friend or family member who has passed away, thank God that you have the opportunity to influence someone else’s life the way that person influenced yours.
5. When you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at church, thank God that you belong to a supportive and loving church family.