Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us (Psalm 78:2-3).
I’ve always needed to be reminded of things, but lately the problem has reached critical mass. A bicycling accident left me with a temporary black eye and not-so-temporary short-term memory loss.
Recently, my daughter found a hot iron plugged in long after I had left the house. On another occasion, the sink overflowed when I forgot I was doing the dishes. I constantly forget where I park my car, or the fact that I didn’t drive my car at all that day, and that’s why I can’t find it.
Some days I forget entire conversations that others tell me I was a part of. (Admittedly, this does have an upside.) The problem has underscored my need to create coping mechanisms, such as making extensive lists. Of course, then I forget where I left my notebook.
Faulty memory is a part of life in this fallen world. “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed,” declared noted 18th-century English author Samuel Johnson. I see a distinct spiritual application in Dr. Johnson’s wisdom.
God knows all about our inherent memory problems, and so He gave us a good corrective—the Bible. One book in particular emphasizes the need to remember. It’s the book of Deuteronomy, which has a definition that includes “repetition of the law.” In Moses’ farewell address to the people he had led for 40 years, he often used the words “remember” and “don’t forget” (Deuteronomy 8:2,11,15,18). He knew the people were aware of the law. And he knew they would forget it. So before he died, Moses reemphasized God’s goodness and the wisdom in His commands.
We’re prone to the same forgetfulness as the ancient Israelites were. Reading God’s Word frequently, asking for His help, and learning from wise counselors aren’t mere coping mechanisms. They’re the way to thrive.
What reminds you of God’s faithfulness? What devices, habits, or rituals could you use to keep His commands in mind?
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