This morning Facebook reminded me of a morning when I was forgetful. The day had begun as many Sunday mornings did in recent years, with a stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. After we had finished eating, and while Al was paying for our breakfast, I went to the ladies' room. As I was washing my hands, I looked at myself in the mirror. Something just didn't look right. And then I realized what it was. I had not remembered my earrings! Fortunately, Cracker Barrel sells earrings. Some rather nice ones, in fact. So, I purchased a pair of earrings to complete my ensemble, and we went on to church.
Earrings are not the only things I'm having trouble remembering these days. I often forget my earrings or my glasses or my phone. I begin a sentence and then forget what I'm talking about. Actually, remembering things remains one of my biggest challenges. That's what happens when a stroke affects the area of the brain that controls speech and memory. But I suspect I'm not the only one with memory problems. Others who are in the same season of life as I am blame our forgetfulness on our age. But we all have trouble remembering. We're so busy and so stressed and so rushed that we just can't remember everything we want to.
It's an important word. But one we often overlook. Remember is a word we don't often remember!
We recently celebrated Easter, a season for remembering.
"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." (Luke 24:6-7 ESV)
"And they remembered His words." (Luke 24:8 ESV)
"When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken." (John 2:22 ESV)
That's an important word. An important lesson for us, wouldn't you agree?
It's easy to follow Jesus, to serve Him, to be joyful, when everything in life is good. When there's plenty of money in your checking account and all the bills are paid. When you're healthy. When there's no stress.
We tend to get forgetful when things are not going so well. When the bills are piling up. When there's too much month and not enough money. When there's sickness and stress and anxiety and worry. When relationships are strained. When we're worried about our job. When life happens.
But it's at those times that we most need to remember.
In the immediate context of the passage in Luke, the angel is telling the women not to be worried because the body of Jesus is no longer in the tomb where they expected to find it. Remember what He said. Remember that He told you He would rise from the grave. Remember.
There's a broader application for us as well. Here in the 21st century, just as back in the first century, we need to remember what He said.
He said He would rise again. And He did. He said He will come again. And He will. We need to remember that. We need to continually remind ourselves of His words. We need His words written on our hearts.
How do we do that? By taking time to be in the Word. The written Word of God is a great gift for us, and we need to treat it as the great gift that it is - the written revelation of God. We need to read it. To study it. To treasure it.
Knowing the Word, being able to call it to mind, remembering the Word, takes more than a few quick minutes here and there. It takes time. We must be intentional about spending time in the Word. Intentional about reading it. Intentional about studying it. Intentional about committing it to our memory.
Then, when life gets tough, as it inevitably will, we can remember.
It's an important word. One that is far too often overlooked.
"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." (Psalm 103:1-2 ESV, emphasis mine)