I think I used to have an excellent memory, but I forget if that was really true or not. I think it probably was.
One day recently I was talking to a couple and I told them a little story that I had heard. We all got a good laugh and I remember thinking, “That would be a good Coffee Stain. I need to remember it.”
I even had an application for the story: we need to learn to be effective in each stage of our lives.
The next day I tried to recall the story and I couldn’t remember it! I could remember the application but not the story. When you forget something like that, in your mind it becomes the story that would have been simply super.
“C’mon David. Remember!” And I would scour the inner recesses of my brain looking for the story (it doesn’t take me long to scour my brain. There’s not a lot of it).
Occasionally, I would remember the application of the story and try to conjure it up again but it hid from me, enticingly just out of range of my memory.
One morning, three weeks later I was washing dishes and something clicked. I remembered the little story of the retired French general reduced to taking out the garbage for his wife (I think my circumstances at the time brought it to mind).
“That’s it!” I exulted. “That’s the story I forgot.” The story became last week’s Coffee Stain.
Memory is an excellent thing. Some of us feel that the hard disk is full and our computer is running like a snail in first gear when we try to remember something. It’s tough but there’s a memory loss that’s a thousand times worse.
It’s the loss of spiritual memory.
God gave Israel at least ten powerful miracles in the desert. Every time they came up to a new trial, they forgot the last time God had miraculously helped them. They chomped on miracle bread from heaven and moaned, wondering how they were going to get out of the current situation.
Those people needed a good jolt of memory.
We must remember what God has promised in his word. Of course, this presupposes that you read his word and meditate on it in order to put it into practice in your life.
Remember his promises to you. If we walk with God we have access to the promises of his Word but often he speaks to us in our heart and we know, we KNOW that God has promised us something.
When we were going to leave the United States, thirty years ago, I was worried about my children. One day in prayer, I felt that God gave me a powerful promise for my kids. I’ve held on to that and when they go through tough times, I recall that day that God spoke to me.
Are you suffering from memory loss? I could recommend a fish diet. Some think that helps your brain (I would need to eat a whale). There might be some miracle pill on the market.
But, if you’re distressed, depressed, hopeless, or afraid, maybe the solution is to remember—remember what He’s said in his Word, what He’s done in your life, and what He’s promised. Turn these memories over and over in your mind.
Maybe you need to set aside some quiet time today and REMEMBER.
“A life spent curled in a ball, hiding in the corner might seem less risky, but in fact it’s certain to lead to ennui and eventually failure.” Seth Godin