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Some people are forgetful.  Others are determined to never forget.  Once, I was stranded at the Atlanta airport for four hours because the person who had promised to pick me up found something better to do. Being forgotten hurts, yet human nature has all of us forgetting sometimes.  Age and disease can devastate memory.  My grandmother used to pull me aside to show me the family pictures in her wallet, and by the time she reached the last one in the pile, she would start all over again.  Declining mental acuity disrupts the normal interplay between heartfelt emotions and self-control or discernment.  Let’s face it: A kind of babyhood threatens to eventually reduce us all to a cry for help. 

Lest we forget, however, Scripture reveals a memory loss more threatening:

Take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery….And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day…. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me. +  

In the New Testament, Peter echoes these warnings, hoping to stir up our memories (2 Peter 3:2).  

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you live in the land of not-having-been-forgotten.  The warnings above come to us from a heart of love.  He promises never, ever to abandon us or dismiss us out of sight and mind. 

We can be lulled, however, into amnesia, to forget that we are remembered by God.  That’s when God’s reminders come in.  The so-called spiritual disciplines–church worship and fellowship, regular personal feeding on God’s Word, holy communion—all help us remember.  So do holidays like Easter, Christmas and other rhythmic reminders and rituals. Experiences of beauty in nature and art may crack the hard shell of feeling forgotten and help us remember the hope of the resurrection life to come.  Regular celebrations (read fun, social activities) as families and churches etch the joy of not being forgotten by God into our psyches.  Technology, like the proverbial string around your finger, can remind us that God has engraved us on the palms of His hands.  

Incidentally, depression can serve as practice for remembering. The depressed person experiences an inner world of forgetting and feeling forgotten.  In depression, as at the end of life, we can be tempted to the torment of only thinking of ourselves. Of course, no easy answers exist, and neither does condemnation for the one enduring such a complex trial. Nevertheless, force-feeding reminders that you are not alone or forgotten (and asking others to do so on your behalf) will bear fruit in the long run. He does not forget the cry of the afflicted (Prov. 9:12). 

We may as well go ahead and cry out now, helpless as we are to remember.   Should my lot be to end my days in a world of forgetfulness, then may this present crying out, these efforts to remember Him whom my soul loves, yield the most lucid disclosure yet from my addled brain:  

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 



+ Deut. 6:12; 8:18 and Hosea 13:6 

Jill, co-founder of the Owen Center, holds a BA (English) from the University of Georgia, a Master’s degree from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson), and an MA in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. She earned three certificates from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF). Jill is also a Certified Christian Trauma Care Provider—Level 1. Jill works part-time at the Owen Center and focuses on the needs of women. She regards counseling as a privilege and part of a life calling to help others connect biblical theology and real life.