Genesis 8:1 – Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing.
Luke 24:6,8 – He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke. And they remembered his words.
John 12:16 – And they remembered that these things were written.
For most of us, remembering is a nostalgic recollection of events that surprised, warmed or worried us. Smells create instant sensations of comfort or caution. We recall wonderful events in our past, and suddenly remember things we promised to do. After my mother died with dementia (Alzheimers), I found myself a bit vague sometimes, and worried about it. Memory is a wonderful thing. God encourages us to remember.
When I was asked to give a talk on Remembering the Sabbath for our church ladies' retreat this month, I turned to a concordance. It became quickly apparent that our heavenly Father does not remember the way we do. Notice in Genesis 8:1, "and God remembered Noah, and every living thing", and Genesis 30:20, "God remembered Rachel, and hearkened to her", and Leviticus 26:42, "I remember my covenant with Jacob." God was not just amused by thoughts about Noah and Rachel, or his promises to Jacob. These ancestors were in terrible distress. He gave them His full attention, considered their needs and then did something to help. This is not nostalgia, but action. When we are asked to remember, action is expected to follow.
Brigit is near term in her fourth pregnancy. She has a wonderful husband and three delightful boys. Gradually, they are establishing a home in a small town by "making do." Their old truck copes with the rigours of hauling firewood from the bush. Betty's husband has kept it running in our extreme winter. However, when they were sent in to Whitehorse to await the baby, a repairman called the police and the truck was suddenly untouchable. Brigit called to arrange care for the boys during her hospital stay. She was near tears. The next morning I went and prayed with her. When we prayed, God remembered and turned His full attention to her tears.
We chanted no magic spell. We prayed for clear thinking for her husband, resolution of the problem, peace of mind and heart for her, and for the boys to be happy in the hotel room that health care helped provide. By noon, all was resolved and peace restored. Our Heavenly Father delivered all of those things within four hours, and then abundantly more in the days that followed.
Our heavenly Father loves us, and asks us to come to him in our distress. He will remember us with His full attention and do something. It will probably be the thing we hadn't thought of yet, or perhaps something beyond our control, but He will do something. He is not just a God of the past and the future, our Heavenly Father is I am. He remembers us right now, and is working toward our good. In your distress or your neighbour's, He is standing by with guidance and assistance.
Prayer: Thank you, Heavenly Father, that when we cry out to You in our distress, You remember us. You turn Your loving attention to us, and take care of us. May we be attentive to Your blessings and obedient to Your instructions. In Jesus' name. Amen.