I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11 ESV
Many people experience memory loss as they get older. Yet, serious mental decline is not necessarily a normal part of aging. It can be a sign that a person has dementia which impairs one’s ability to remember, think, or make decisions and interferes with doing everyday activities. Our ability to remember names, details, places, and events, shapes who we are and determines our quality of life. As one author stated, “memory anchors us to the past, interprets the present, and charts a course for the future.”
In the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Dr. Oliver Sacks, the story is told of a man named Jimmie who had a rare neurological disorder called Korsakoff syndrome. This disorder affects memory. Dr. Sacks met Jimmie in 1975 when he walked into the doctor's office with a cheery "Hiya, Doc! Nice morning! Do I take this chair here?" He was cooperative and answered all the questions as Dr. Sacks checked his memory. He remembered his childhood home, friends, school, and the Navy, which he had joined in 1943. He was stationed on a sub and could still remember Morse code. He recalled vividly his service in the Navy through the end of the war in 1945, but that's where the memories stopped. Completely stopped.
Jimmie couldn't remember anything from 1945 to the present (1975)—30 years. He thought that Truman was president, the periodic table stopped with uranium, and no one had been to the moon. He had no recollection of anything that happened more than a few minutes in the past. He thought he was 19 years old, not his actual age of 49 years. Dr. Sacks showed him a mirror, and Jimmie gazed at the middle-aged man with bushy gray hair. He was shocked! In Dr. Sacks' words: "He suddenly turned ashen and gripped the sides of the chair. 'What's going on? What's happened to me? Is this a nightmare? Am I crazy?'"
In today’s text, the Psalmist proclaims that he will remember the deeds of the Lord and will remember God’s wonders of old. Remembering the goodness of God should be a consistent daily exercise for all believers. As we go through the daily challenges of life, we need to remember God’s faithfulness and His unfailing love. We should also remember the greatness of God so we do not lose hope when our weaknesses are greater than our strengths.
The children of Israel were admonished to write the commands of God by putting them on their foreheads so they would not forget them. One of the best ways to remember who God is and what He has done is by reading the Bible daily and spending time in focused meditation. We should try to memorize some Bible verses and repeat them as often as necessary so we can remain Holy Spirit-led.
Just as an alarm clock is used to remind people to wake up at a certain time every day, believers need to set daily reminders to keep their minds focused on God and their souls thirsting for God. Writing this daily devotional is my daily reminder to read the Bible and to share the good news of Jesus with others. Praying with my family every night is my reminder to commune with God in spirit and in truth.
It is good to remember who we are and whose we are in Christ Jesus. The evil spirits of this world want us to forget about God and forget what He has done for us. They want us to become spiritually dull and complacent, so we do not cultivate a life of godliness. But we should make every effort and use all the tools at our disposal to remember that we are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Questions for Personal Reflection
What do you do to improve your spiritual memory?
Why is it important to remember who God is and what He has done?
Prayer- Blessed Father, please don’t ever let me forget what you have done for me and how much you love me. When I am tempted to disobey your precepts, please help me to remember your righteousness and the gift of salvation you gave me through Christ Jesus.