Recently, I've noticed that many of my severe bouts of spiritual memory loss seem to be triggered by financial hardships more than anything else. And that was the case again this morning. It all began with an early trip to a physical therapy appointment followed by another visit to the orthopaedics clinic. The past 4 weeks I've seen these guys often as I seek treatment for a chronic overuse injury in both of my knees. Even though I've been able to experience some mild relief from the pain that I've dealt with for 8 months, I was advised this morning that surgery would more than likely be recommended if I don't improve significantly in the next 4 weeks. As much as I long to have relief from this awful pain, these are the only things I could see dancing around before my eyes when I heard those words:
$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $
Lots of money. Lots of which we do NOT have. Boy, did the morning take a terrible turn downhill and fast! And that's when the very UN-welcomed amnesia arrived to wreak some havoc on my day. Tears, worry, and full-blown crankiness soon made their appearance, too.
As the morning passed, I sadly allowed myself to sink deeper into worry and doubt. Thankfully before too long, the Holy Spirit brought a familiar story to my mind about which I often find myself chuckling. The Bible tells us how the disciples walked daily with Jesus during His earthly ministry and saw the miraculous take place over and over. Because they experienced His work first hand, there was no possible way for them ever to forget what Jesus was/is capable of, right?! Well, not really... check it out:
"Now they [the disciples] had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he [Jesus] cautioned them, saying, 'Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.' And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, 'Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And [...here's my favorite question...] do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?' They said to him, 'Twelve.' 'And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?' And they said to him, 'Seven.' And he said to them, 'Do you not yet understand?'" (Mark 8:14-21 ESV)
I love to try and imagine the look on those guys' faces! And the fact that they, too, struggled with spiritual amnesia--even while face to face with Jehovah Jireh--is quite comforting to me. There they were on a boat WITH the Bread of Life, yet still fretting over not having enough bread to eat. The whole scenario of their forgetfulness is so blatantly obvious and silly to me as I read about it. So, why wasn't my reaction to my own situation this morning one of laughter instead of fear and forgetfulness? Isn't my amnesia just as silly and uncalled for? I believe the answer is yes.
While my husband has searched for a full-time job since January, God has blown us away over and over by His undeniable provision. While taking time to thumb through my journal this afternoon, a few reminders flew off the pages and smacked me right between the eyes of my heart:
- anonymous gift cards/money left in our mailbox
- 2 tires anonymously purchased by someone for our car
- gift cards and money sacrificially given by close friends and family
- car loads of groceries from friends
- a vehicle given to us by a total stranger (for real!)
The list of material provision over the past 6 months could seriously go on and on. God has been overwhelmingly gracious and has proven consistently to my family that He IS Jehovah Jireh. He continues to show me that He is able and all-sufficient through seemingly impossible situations--both in the material realm and, more importantly, the spiritual realm. Why would I even dare let myself think that His provision would cease now?! His Word and His past faithfulness preaches the exact opposite:
"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'" (Isaiah 41:13 ESV)
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV)
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how MUCH MORE will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11 ESV, emphasis mine)
"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 ESV)
"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV)
"Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good." (1 Peter 4:19 ESV)It's through these and other truths from His Word that I/we shut down these spiritually immobilizing attacks of amnesia. After re-reading these promises multiple times and praying to the One who is faithful to them, peace began to wash over me. And as crazy as it may sound, thanksgiving for this current situation began to well up, too. I realized I can be thankful for another opportunity for God to increase my faith and trust in Him. Knowing that every detail of each struggle I face is used for God's glory and to make me more like His Son is a crazy-incredible balm for anxiety from spiritual amnesia.
Soli Deo gloria~