“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
Eighteen years ago, on September 11, 2001, we witnessed the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the world and the most disastrous foreign attack on American soil since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The images displayed on television screens and in newspapers of the plane hitting the twin towers and their subsequent collapse are forever etched in my mind. But many of the details of that day have slipped from my memory, and I’m fairly certain you could say the same thing.
One reason that we don’t remember more from that time is actually something of a defense mechanism – we tend to bury issues that are painful and upsetting. Another reason we forget is due to what is known as “information overload” – the inability to process and retain so much information.
Unfortunately, a big reason we forget is because we are just prone to do so. We tend to move forward in life, always looking ahead but seldom looking back. And while that may be a good thing, for the most part, there are some things we really need to look back on and remember.
We need to remember the blessings of God (Psalm 103:2). We need to remember the pit from which we’ve been rescued (Isaiah 51:1). We need to remember the Word of the Lord (John 15:20). Each time we take the Lord’s Supper, “we remember His death until He comes” (I Corinthians 11:26). The bread reminds us of His body which was broken for us, and the cup reminds us of His precious blood which was shed for us. Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me” (I Corinthians 11:24-25).
All over our country, there are memorials to help us remember, because we are prone to forget. But God never does. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love…” (Hebrews 6:10a). God says, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). God will never forget those who belong to Him!
Praise God, the only thing He doesn’t “remember” is our sins when we trust Christ as our Lord and Savior (Hebrews 10:17). We understand this verse in the sense that, as believers, we are no longer charged with our sins, which have been put on Christ’s account (II Corinthians 5:21).
As we consider the sacrifices of the 72 law enforcement officers, 343 firefighters, and 55 military personnel who perished on 9/11 while serving and rescuing others, may we remember their sacrifice and be grateful for their service. And as we think about the One who died that we might be rescued from an eternal death, may we not only be grateful, but may we always live for Him!