Have you ever had a case of spiritual amnesia?
I mean, have you ever been in a rough spot and seen God come through for you and then some time later been in a similar spot and been terrified or doubtful? I think we've all had a case of spiritual amnesia. For instance we've prayed for a spouse and thought he or she would never come; saw loser after loser until we finally fell head over heels for that good man or woman. We've prayed for the job and despaired that it would never come, then got the right job at the right time. We've searched for a house and saw "the one" get sold over and over until we found the house that became our home.
We've all seen God work and then a decade later, a year later, a month later or even a day later wondered if God was able to come through for us. Spiritual amnesia is as pervasive as real amnesia is on a soap opera.
"During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, 'I have compassion for these people, they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.'
His disciples answered, 'But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?' Mark 8:1-4
Spiritual amnesia had struck all 12 disciples. This is Mark chapter 8, just a few pages earlier in Mark chapter 6 Jesus had taken five loaves of bread and two fish and fed 5,000 men plus women and children and had 12 baskets left over. Now, there are 4,000 men plus women and children and the disciples can't seem to fathom how Jesus could feed them. This is NOT the same story told twice, this is a second mass feeding by Jesus and the disciples don't seem to remember the first.
"How many loaves to you have?' Jesus asked.
'Seven,' they replied.
He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When He had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, He broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; He gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterwards the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand men were present." Mark 8:5-9a
There were fewer people and more bread than last time and the disciples couldn't imagine how Jesus could come through. We read this and think, "Silly disciples" but how often do we do the same thing?
My dad has said this in sermons before as something we should recite to ourselves in times of need, "God has been there for me before and He'll be there for me again."
This doesn't mean that every time we ask for a specific miracle that God will give it. What this means is that we need to remember the wonderful things God has done for us in the past and remember that He is able at all times. The Israelites were given books of history to remind them of God's past deeds. We are given the same thing. We have the stories of the Bible, we have the stories of our family, we have the stories of our own happenings. God has been there before and He'll be there for me again.
If you've self-diagnosed with spiritual amnesia I recommend you recite that phrase. I recommend you keep a record of the ways God has been victorious in your life. We are so quick to remember our valleys, we need to be as quick or quicker to remember our mountaintops. Fight spiritual amnesia by remembering the wonderful things God has done for us today.