Today is a special day in my family. It is my daughter-in-law’s birthday. In fact, it is her first birthday as my daughter-in-law.
I have a confession to make: I forgot her birthday last year when she was my son’s fiancée. But now I have a system to remember. You see, my anniversary is Dec. 22, so her birthday is exactly one month later. And my wife’s birthday is Jan. 25, exactly one month after Christmas. These are important dates, so I am glad to get all the help I can have to remember them.
That word “remember” is really significant. When used in the Bible it means far more than simply to “call to mind,” especially as it relates to God. To remember was to act on someone’s behalf. When God remembers someone, he acts on their behalf.
In the book named for him, Nehemiah said, “Remember me, O my God,” four different times. Nehemiah wanted so desperately for God to help him. He was not just asking God to call to mind that he was down here on earth. No, the prayer, “Remember me,” was a plea for God to help. It was a passionate cry for God’s assistance.
As I think about this remembering thing, I get a bit amused. The older I get, the more things I have to remember. After all, I used to not have a daughter-in-law. One day in the future I may have another one. Grandchildren are a possibility, and so there will be even more birthdays to remember (and I’m not being pushy, I just know that will likely happen one day).
This remembering business can be difficult. I must admit that I rarely forget to eat. But sometimes I don’t even remember to take my medicine. Maybe there’s a pill for that. There are even those moments when I’m writing a column for the newspaper and I forget my main point (just kidding, Ms. Editor).
The good news for you and me is this: God never forgets. Yes, Nehemiah asked God to remember, but it was in great confidence that he did so. Nehemiah asked the Lord to do something that he was going to do anyway. God never forgets his children. He always has us in his mind. He cares for so much that we are ever in his thoughts. And I am so grateful for that.
Knowing that God remembers me, I want to remember him. I best show that I remember him by living in a way that pleases him. I am grateful that the Lord remembers me. I pray he will help me to remember him.