I suffer from the disease of forgetfulness.
Oh, I have a memory. It works well. But sometimes it works selectively.
I sometimes remember slights that have happened long ago. Those memories colour my present, even taint it. I have believed lies based on those experiences. Those lies have distorted my thinking. Those memories have had power that I did not even understand.
I remember good things. Things that filled my bucket. Things that blessed my soul. I have smiled and laughed as I have remembered. Those memories I hold close. They are dear.
I remember sadnesses. It took one song at an event this past Christmas for the tears to stream down my face in grief. I would love one more conversation. I crave the sage advice brought by the experience of years. I miss the friendship. I cherish all the moments that mentored my soul and spirit. But …
But I forget really well too. A lot of my forgetfulness has to do with the provision of God in my life. Over this past year, the times of silence, where I felt like He had withdrawn any sort of presence in my life were at the forefront of my mind and heart. God was silent. He must be far away. He must be displeased with me. He must be tired of the doldrums I found myself in. Gracious, I wanted to move on. I was sure He did too. But I felt stuck. I felt abandoned. I felt apathetic. Did any of it really matter? Really?
I’m so grateful that God’s moving in my life is not dependent on my memory. I’d be so sunk if it was. But it’s not. Instead, God keeps moving, keeps speaking, keeps lavishing love on me especially when I recognize absolutely none of it. Thank goodness! In the middle of my doldrums, when I was truly desperate for a touch from Him, He showed up. He wasn’t subtle either. My pencil scribbled as fast as it could. The tears ran down my cheeks as I sat completely alone. I was overwhelmed by the presence of my God. I was undone by His love for me. I had forgotten. Or maybe, I had chosen not to remember how good my Father is. Instead of berating me for my short memory, my Father wrapped His arms of love around me and spoke to the deep places of my soul. Instead of being frustrated with me, He comforted and encouraged. Instead of accusing, His calm assuaged my spirit. I was brought back in. I found solace. It became well.
I know the time will come when I forget again. I will feel like an outsider. I will be convinced of a lie. But in addition to God’s Word that shows me how amazingly loving my God is, I have the reminders I’ve written down. I’ll need to read them. I’ll need those tangible reminders. My God is the One who draws near.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits – Psalm 103:2 (NIV)