We are a forgetful people. Even the most brilliant of us forget things, like a seminary professor we know who has a photographic memory and yet forgot something very important. One weekend, he drove from Dallas to Houston for a speaking engagement. At the conclusion of his engagement he took a cab to the airport, purchased a one-way ticket to Dallas, and flew home. Upon arrival, he called his wife and asked if she would come get him at the DFW airport. She replied, I’m happy to, but what about your car in Houston?
Even a photographic memory is no guarantee against forgetfulness. The psalmist commands us to forget none of God’s benefits, much like a parent reminding our kids, Don’t forget! If we forget physical things we can see and touch like a car, how can we possibly remember the often invisible works God does? We can’t. It’s an impossibility for us mortals with faulty memories. What is the solution?
The easiest answer is to make lists of all the good things God has done, all the prayers He has answered, and all the ways He has provided for us individually. My problem is I’ve started making lists hundreds of times in my life only to forget to continue adding to them! Even so, all my partial lists add up, reminding me when I read them of God’s goodness to me.
Another way to aid our remembrance is to build a physical marker, like the Israelites did in the Old Testament. Once they made a pile of large rocks, see Joshua 4, when they crossed the Jordan River, “So that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you shall…” tell the story of what God did. I have a friend who has done this in her backyard. She had one of her sons build a cross. They leaned it against a tree and piled rocks at its base as a reminder of something God had done for them as a family.
The point is we must find ways, even if we forget along the way like I do, to remember God’s benefits. To recall His goodness is to grow our faith. Forgetfulness is a faith killer.
In this month of Thanksgiving, when we naturally think about being grateful, start a list as a family of all the ways you are seeing God work each day. Ask your kids to help you remember to keep adding to your list!