– Psalm 136:1 (NIV)
What helps you to remember something important?
Perhaps you are someone who has to leave a note for yourself. Or perhaps you ask someone else to remind you. If it is something like a phone number or a list, maybe you keep repeating it over and over again. How many times does it take you?
Researchers who study such things say it usually takes at least five times before you begin to remember the information. Of course, the longer the list or sentence, the more times it can take for even those with great abilities to commit it to memory.
We shouldn’t feel too bad that we need to find ways to remind ourselves of something important. In reading Psalm 136, we discover that the need dates at least as far back as the Old Testament. In this psalm, there is a clear reminder of the never-ending love of God. The psalmist repeats the same phrase 26 times at the end of every line or thought. The phrase is simple, yet powerful:
His love endures forever.”
Most often, this psalm is seen as more of a responsive reading. One person says a verse, and others respond with, “His love endures forever.” But there is another way of looking at this passage.
What if the psalmist offers up this psalm as a means of reminding himself of all the ways that he can see how unfailing God’s love is? Like us — perhaps sometimes when life is challenging — he forgets how much God loves him, but reminding himself helps to keep it real in his mind and heart. And when he remembers, he is thankful.
What helps you to remember that God’s love endures forever?
Often, it begins with looking at the world around us and the people who touch our lives. The beauty of God’s creation, and the blessings of people who love and care for us, bear witness to God’s unfailing love.
In good times or in bad times, the promise is ours to claim: “His love endures forever.”
Prayer: Lord God, we come to you today thankful for the simple but powerful promise that your love endures forever. Help us to remember this promise as we face both good times and difficult times in our lives. We give thanks to you, Lord God, for you are good. Your love endures forever. Amen.