I have some vivid memories of our old house: making blanket forts over the dining room table and hiding underneath, playing with my mother’s costume jewelry in my parents’ bedroom when I should have been napping, and the Christmas season when Santa visited and left a small china cup on our fireplace mantel! But my favorite memory is when I would pick out my father’s tie every morning before he went to work–so fresh in my mind four decades later. I always wanted to walk through those rooms again to see how it had changed over the years, and if my memory served me well …
I believe in praying for the little things, asking God to grant small desires, and this one He did! Traveling through that small Indiana town and past the house we left 45 years before, we decided to knock and see if the homeowner would allow us inside. She was quite friendly and remembered my father’s family well, telling us to please come in.
As we talked with her and walked through, I was surprised how much I remembered and how much I had forgotten—the tile design on that fireplace, the beautifully kept wood floors, by now over 100 years old, and the wood built-in on one dining room wall … Memories are funny things; sometimes we remember a place, event, or person perfectly and other times we do not.
The gift of memory comes from God, and He has one too! But what does God remember? For those who love and honor Him, He remembers the good things, even recording our names in a book of remembrance:
“Then those who feared and loved the Lord spoke often of him to each other. And he had a Book of Remembrance drawn up in which he recorded the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.” Malachi 3:16
Even our Heavenly Father takes pleasure from joyful memories, and according to Malachi 3:16 they are written down so that He can remember them over and over again. Still, we all have memories of things we have done that we would much rather forget–and hope that God will forget too! The good news is that He does:
“For I will be merciful and gracious toward their wickedness,And I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12
The promise for us when we ask forgiveness and turn from sinful ways is beautiful–He forgets those deeds and removes them from us as far as the east is removed from the west.
God has the best design when it comes to memories: focusing on the good instead of dwelling on the bad. With His help, we can follow His design and rejoice in His goodness in our lives while trusting Him with the difficult situations that leave their mark.
What good God has done in your life that you need to remember? How can you learn to receive forgiveness and forget your sins as God does?