Remembering Well

Remembering well is important. It is important for how we live in the present. It is important for how we imagine the future. Not remembering leaves a person prisoner to the present. Misremembering is, perhaps, worse. Misremembering leaves a person prisoner to a lie.

Priceless Data

The Bible is a book of remembrance. It is a witness from the past about what has happened—good and bad. That kind of data is priceless. It sets the captive (to the present) free. Before writing the law, God talked to Moses about writing memorials in a book (Ex. 17:14). The title of Psalm 38 is “A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.” God even has a book of remembrance where he jots down people’s conversations about him (Mal. 3:16). Peter apologizes for repeating himself, but says it is right to “refresh your memory” (2 Pet. 1:13).

Not Remembering

At the beginning of the year I read through my old journals. I was shocked I couldn’t remember some of what I had written. For example, 15-20 years ago I was at the hospital. I was waiting for an elevator. A woman was waiting, too. A door opened up and I stepped in, but the woman didn’t. As I’m in the elevator, looking at the woman still outside, she asks, “What floor are you going to?” I told her and then she stepped in. She then told me how deathly afraid she was and wanted to make sure I was going to a higher floor, so she wouldn’t be in the elevator alone.

Having Record

I have no memory of that. I know it happened though. The story was in my journal, in my handwriting. I wrote in my journal how I was struck that a total stranger (me) could alleviate such a strong fear she had about elevators. Being with another person gave her strength. I would have never remembered that, if I hadn’t recorded it in my journal.

Power of Remembering

How’s your memory? If you feel like a prisoner to the present, it could be you aren’t utilizing the power of remembering. What are you misremembering? When we aren’t remembering correctly, it is hard to see things the way they really are. Our current reality is being informed by lies from the past.


I think this is why Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays of the year. Gratitude is remembering. Gratitude is important because it brings us back to our Source. George Washington, in his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, spoke of remembering the “signal favors of Almighty God”. I love that idea of signals. Signals are signs or cues. They always convey vital information for what we should do about where we are and what we should do next.

May your remembering be the cues you need that take you into the future favors of God.

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