By Joy Lopes
Staff Writer for The Daily Grace Co.
It is tempting to feel as though God has forgotten us in seasons of suffering.
“If He knows the pain this is causing me, why has He left me in it?”
Other seasons may be filled with temptations toward sin that feel unbearable and leave you questioning whether God sees your struggle.
“Doesn’t He see how hard I am fighting? When will He remember to give me strength?”
Or maybe you are in a season of waiting, which seems more like a permanent home than a temporary transition.
“Has God forgotten to end this wait and bring fulfillment to good desires He gave me?”
Maybe you have asked one of these questions, or perhaps you have recited all of them at different points along the timeline of your life. As you look to the Lord for answers, hope, or comfort, and you find yourself feeling forgotten instead, here are three things to remember about who God is:
1. Your Infinite Creator
God made you. He intricately knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). We often give women too much credit for the work of creating life, as if we even had the power to sustain our own lives. God has designed our bodies to create and sustain life, but it is all His power working in us. God is your maker, the author of your life, and the One who continues to give your heart the strength it needs to beat every minute. The truth is, if He had forgotten about you, you would no longer be living. No, your Creator cannot and will not forget you; not only does He know your frame, but He is also constantly aware of the weakness that leaves you in perpetual need of Him (Psalm 103:14).
If that reminder is not convincing enough, think about God’s nature instead of your need. He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. Because He is infinite, God has no limits in His capacity (Isaiah 40:25-26). This means that His mind can perfectly hold all knowledge together at once, without missing a thing. So, He cannot lose track of you. Because He is eternal, He can go on remembering you forever. And because He is unchangeable, He never changes His affections toward you; therefore, if you are in Christ, God will remember His love for you forever (Romans 8:39).
2. Your Kind Father
If you feel forgotten by God because you question why He would love you, remember that you are His precious child because you fear the Lord (Psalm 103:13). The Israelites, in the midst of one of their most rebellious seasons of sin, were quick to question whether the Lord would still remember them. God’s answer is tender and confident, even as He disciplined them for their sins:
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.Isaiah 49:15-16
Even though it is nearly impossible for a mother to forget her own child, sometimes it still happens on earth. Is it not the same with the Lord? No, He says. Even if a mother forgets her own children, the Lord would never forget His. Your name is written on His hands.
And even if an earthly father fails to care and provide for His children, the Lord is not such a father. Jesus tells us that not only does Father God know our needs, but He says that as we are seeking after His kingdom, He will meet every one of them (Matthew 6:32-33). Part of seeking the Lord and His kingdom means reading His Word and coming to Him in prayer; these are not burdens that earn you daily provision. Rather, these practices of seeking the Lord are meant to feed you, sustain you, and grow you to more and more reflect the character of Jesus. You benefit from them, and even through these methods of seeking, the Lord is providing for you. He continually meets your physical and spiritual needs in the most perfect, fatherly way.
So when you feel forgotten by God, remember what you ate for breakfast, think about the bed you slept in last night, consider the vocation you work in, think of the dear family and close friends that you have, remember that there is breath in your lungs, consider the church you attend, or even just the fact that you are reading this article today. All of these are provisions of the Lord who remembers you.
3. Your Savior
When Isaiah said in chapter 40:16 that God’s people’s names were written on His palms, it may have reminded you of Jesus’ hands on the cross. While the nails that dug into His flesh and ground His bones did not literally spell your name, His hands were scarred like this for you. God sent Jesus to redeem you because He remembered you in your sin and need (Romans 5:8).
The only thing that God could be said to forget in even a metaphorical sense is your sin. This is not to say that God cannot hold that information in His mind but that He chooses to care for you as if you had no sin (Psalm 25:7). He looks on you as He looks on Christ, not acting toward you in relation to your sin but in relation to His gracious mercy (Philippians 4:19). If you ever feel like God has forgotten you, you need only to remember what He did for you through Christ on the cross. God will always remember you because He will never forget His Son.
When we question God’s memory, we are really doubting His goodness. But we cannot define God’s character based on our situation. Instead, we should define our circumstances based on God’s proven character. He is good, so the season I am in—whether suffering, waiting, or struggling—has been placed in my life by my infinite Creator, in His tender, fatherly care, in order to conform me more and more into the image of His beloved Son. It is because He remembers you that you are walking through this path that He has laid for you.