You've probably heard the promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." It's a well-known, oft-quoted verse that reminds us that God is with us always.
But it's not the only time God made this promise.
God has been promising His people this from the very beginning. Even all the way back in Deuteronomy 31, as they stood on the edge of the Promised Land, part of the goodness that God was giving them was to tell them He will never leave them. He will be with them every step in Canaan just as He has been in the wilderness.
And this promise on the edge of the Promise contains something more, as well: He tells them not only will He never leave them, but He will never forget them.
How big is that?
Let me tell you - I am getting to be of an age where I forget things all the time. Things that are right in front of me. I forget why I walked into the other room. I forget where I put my keys. I forget where I put the drink that I just poured or the fork that I just got out of the drawer. I get in the car, and I forget where I'm going.
It's one thing to say, "I will never leave you," because it means that God will always be with us wherever we go. But it's something even more to say, "I will never forget you." Because we all know how easy it is to forget even the things that are right here with us.
God won't forget. He won't forget, when He's here, that He's here because He's with you. He won't forget where we're going together. He won't forget why. He won't forget grace along the way and mercy for all the times we mess up. He won't forget love.
There's an easy one, isn't it? We are with each other so much that we forget to love one another. Think about an old married couple, where familiarity is the thing. They've been together so long, they can finish one another's sentences and know what the other person is going to do with almost 99% accuracy. They know what each other is going to want for dinner tonight, what time they'll want the television on a certain channel, which clothes to lay out for the day. They know everything about one another, and it can become so easy to live together that they forget to intentionally love one another.
God is never going to become so comfortable being with you, so familiar with being with you, that He forgets to love you. Never.
This just adds a whole depth to this promise for me. I love that God is going to be with me; I do. Don't get me wrong. What an incredible promise.
But I love even more that His being with me will never become stale. It will never become rote. It will never become so common that He forgets me while I'm standing right in front of Him.
No matter how often, sadly, the opposite is far too true.