I suffer from amnesia.
Now that I’ve got your attention, I’m not kidding. But my amnesia is not injury-related or anything like that. It’s actually somewhat selective. Actually, it’s a bit faith-based.
You see, I tend to forget things. I tend to forget all the times God’s led me through something and got me out on the other side, unscathed and better than when I went in. I tend to forget all the times He’s taken care of me when I’m scared, showing me I had nothing to fear. I tend to forget all the times He’s come through when I’ve wondered if He would.
Faith can be a tricky thing.
Do you share my selective, faith-based amnesia too? Why are we like this?
Faith can be a tricky thing. If we call ourselves believers, we claim to have it and claim that it carries us. But it’s actually not always that straightforward. Faith does indeed require work—at least for me. It calls for discipline to practice it, to put it in daily motion. It calls for the exercise of getting up in the morning and saying, “Today, Jesus, I choose to trust You.” You know this as well as I do: it’s not easy to say that sometimes.
If you read my article last month, you might remember that I’m shipping my firstborn off to college across the country this month. Naturally, I’m a bit (understatement) anxiety-ridden. She’s an exemplary young woman who’s made it through four years of high school and accomplished much, and the Lord was clearly with her. But here I sit with all the questions playing in my mind: “How will she adjust? Will she make good friends? Will her roommates be crazy people? Will she be safe? Will she have enough to eat on her (cheaper option) meal plan?” I could go on.
The act of writing this out is a great exercise for me because I’m flashing back through my life and literally seeing how the Lord provided for our little family when she was a baby and things were tight. I’m remembering how He provided the best childcare in moments when we didn’t know what we were going to do. And I’m breathless as I realize how almost 19 years of her life have flown by with more blessing than blunder. That’s the grace of God—undeserved, but abundant. But now I need to be better at not forgetting that.
The reminders are all around us. Reminders of His faithfulness are found in nature, in song, and of course in the simple act of pausing just to think about all He’s done. I could try to capture that, but an old hymn comes to mind whose less well-known second stanza says it best:
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.*
Oh, that we would do a much better job at remembering His faithfulness in the middle of any difficult situation or moment of fearfulness; for a peaceful heart could just be a recollection away.
* Civilla Martin, 1905.
Wilona Karimabadi is an assistant editor of Adventist Review.