Memory loss. The causes abound if you search these two words online. It has to do with common aging, diet, lack of exercise, substances, neural synapses, and any combination of that list. We have all heard humorous stories of looking for something you just placed down somewhere, or searching for glasses that happened to be on your head. We all know the regular excuse for an incomplete task: “Sorry, I forgot.”
Memory Loss is simply a part of growing older, but sometimes it can be frustrating. But even at a younger age, I sometimes feel like Dory from Finding Nemo. You may take pills that help with memory or try to change your diet to help with your brain function. But there will always be times where we simply “forget.”
The Bible has quite a lot to say about our memory. There are over 230 references in the Bible for the word “remember.” In fact, this is a common command given by God. A regular reason why sin exists is because of a failure to remember.
In fact, you could argue that most sin exists because we forget what God has done for us, we forget the calling he has placed on our lives, and we forget the life that the gospel gives us through Jesus Christ. While memory loss is a normal part of life, we must strive, work hard, and be eager to remind ourselves of what God has done for us.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to hear the testimonies of two different people. As they started telling me about how Jesus changed their lives, I began to remember how Jesus changed my life! As they told me about the destruction of sin, I remembered the destruction of sin in mine. As they talked about their daily walk, I was reminded of my daily walk. That is because God uses people around us and situations to remind us of His grace each day.
Do you remember what it was like when you first had your eyes open to the gospel? When you first understood what Jesus has done for you, and when you placed your faith in Him? Take yourself back to the day you were saved. Where were you? What was going on that day? Then, remember the joy that you received on that day.
In John 21, the resurrected Jesus wandered to where the disciples were by the Sea of Tiberias. While they were fishing, he called out from the shore, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat!” When the disciples did, they couldn’t even haul it in, because of the quantity of fish (John 21:6). It was at this moment that Peter recognized that it was Jesus, because he said, “It is the Lord!”
Why was this such an important moment? Because Peter was reminded of when he first met Jesus. He met Jesus in Luke 5:4-11. In this story, Jesus first meets Peter when he tells him a familiar thing: “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” When Peter did, they enclosed such a large number of fish that their nets were breaking. At this experience, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid: from now on you will be catching men.”
Did you catch that? When Peter was reminded of Jesus, he remembered his salvation, his calling, and his decision to follow Jesus. As we seek to strive for remembrance, know that Jesus will often put people and situations in your life to remind you of your past. Jesus loved you, Jesus loves you, and Jesus will always love you. Rest in Him today.
Caleb Duncan is the Director for the West Florida Baptist Association in Chipley, and holds an M.A. in Ethics, Theology and Culture from Southeastern Seminary. Email him at [email protected] or follow his twitter @calebtduncan.