Ever lost an item and for the life of you cannot remember where you left it? Apple power cords are my nemesis. Seriously, I found the last lost one in my linen cupboard under a set of sheets I had folded months earlier. Oh, yeah now I remember, I left the cord I intended to take out of town on the dryer by the then unfolded sheets. I would have remembered if it weren't for those sheets covering it up! Ever experienced “spiritual amnesia” and forgot what you should be remembering? Well, that's a big YES for me.
Our son is now in his 11th year serving in the Army. Years back, his first deployment to the War in Iraq absolutely rattled me. I have been a believer since I was 19 years old so not a “newbie” in the Faith. For heaven’s sake my life verses are in Philippians 4, which is replete with peace and hope, yet nonetheless, derailed I was. I have lived for decades with these confidences in my heart. By God’s grace I have weathered some tough seasons in life, but none of that prepared me for the spot in which I found myself. “Spiritual Amnesia,” as I call it, tossed much that I knew to be true out the window.
I had a real and very irrational fear about my son’s well-being the first time he went to war. He was in what they called a Forward Operating Base, which meant he was literally outside the safety wire deep in unsecured Iraq. I lived in literal terror from the day he left. It wasn't for lack of prayer or reading God’s Word. With the time difference I knew while I slept he was awake and vice versa. So the moment my head hit the pillow even greater anxiety struck me. I prayed constantly, thinking that if I didn’t something terrible would happen. I had a very naive and false sense of security that when I was awake he was snug in his bed. I know, crazy and irrational! Weeks went on like this. Finally, in sheer desperation, I cried out to God in need of His comfort, rest and peace. I was hoping for a warm and fuzzy hug from God in His Word and for the Holy Spirit to minister to me. He gave me something I wasn't expecting at all the very next morning in His Word. A strong dose of His truth and reality. “Unless your faith is firm I cannot make you stand firm (Isaiah 7:9).”
He nailed me with the true reason for my terror. I realized this was a faith issue between me and God Almighty. I had forgotten what I knew to be true about God. In my spiritual amnesia I had forgotten God’s peace and allowed not just fear but “paralyzing fear” in its place. The truth be known, I didn’t want to trust Him or the outcome He chose for my son. You can just imagine the terrible graphic video rolling in my mind as to his life and safety. I had to confess that my faithlessness was the cause of my fear. I earnestly asked God to give me the faith to get through whatever His will was, (not my easiest prayer). And the honest truth is the fear faded and peace flooded my mind and heart.
I was reminded of the reason Philippians 4:4 -7 are my life verses for a reason. God is God and He is faithful in all things. Even when there is no conceivable reason for peace, hope or joy, He can and will deliver that which is impossible without Him…. “and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.
It was no mistake that at the Last Supper Jesus said twice, as He raised the elements representing His body and His blood, to His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” I must remember so as to not forget. We must remember so as to not forget. Just like my unfolded sheets covered my power cord so will many things in this life cause us to forget His promises if we let them. Our faith must be firm in order for us to stand firm.
-Mary Maggard / VBF Women's Ministry Leader