I can be so forgetful sometimes. Not in the little, daily things. I always remember to pick my kids up, to pack their lunches, who has appointments and when, who forgot to take their vitamins, who left their towel on the bathroom floor, and that I need to pick up milk and toilet paper before I come home from work. I’m usually sharp as a slightly-used tack.
No, my brain fails whenever life-changing, impossible scenarios are put in front of me. When I am all at once thrilled and terrified at what God has revealed for my future. Being presented with the incredible seems to take my laser-like focus and send me out chasing squirrels.
It’s not the impossible part I worry about, really. God handles that. My part is the thing that trips me up. To wait, and not doubt. It’s enough to break me sometimes.
Waiting itself is not the hard part. I like peace and quiet and resting. And I even enjoy being strengthened while growing and learning as God prepares me for what He promised is coming. My problem is that waiting allows the doubts to creep in. Because, as I said, amazing promises made by the Creator of the universe tend to scatter my brain. If God wanted me to, say, remember His dentist appointment, I’d be on it!
Most of us have no doubts about the power of God. We know He can do absolutely anything. We seldom doubt His power, but we do forget Him. It seems inconceivable that we could forget. He’s GOD. But we do. We forget what He’s said, what He’s done, and who He is.
After a long wait, and especially if what was promised seems absolutely impossible, we can forget that it was God’s voice speaking. I’ve struggled with this recently, wondering if I should give up on this impossible dream that must have been made up in my own head.
But how could I forget how clearly God spoke? How could I forget the truckloads of confirmation He sent so I would know, without a doubt, exactly what was going to happen? How could I forget all of the other times He promised something impossible and it really happened, exactly as He said it would?
I know we’re living as a generation that doesn’t pay attention well, and it seems we are easily distracted from pretty much any straight and narrow path. But we don’t have to read very far into God’s word to discover that this problem isn’t new to us. God’s own chosen people seemed to have a chronic case of amnesia when it came to who God was and everything He had done for them. The Old Testament is an epic saga of His people forgetting, time after time, as He comes along and reminds them of the truth, warning them not to forget again. The human race is exhausting, really.
Knowing the inclination to wander off the path, the scriptures describe a practice used to remind the people of God; of who He is and what He’s done. To commemorate when God made covenants, or performed miracles, the people would use “massebah”, or standing stones. These were set up to make sure the people would not forget what God had done for them.
I need these standing stones in my own life. Maybe you do, too.
Reminding me was exactly what God did when I bounced my doubts off a trusted, faith-filled friend. As I was questioning how I could possibly doubt if God would do something, I began to recount all of the other crazy things He promised in my past, and how He fulfilled them all. Once I came to the end of what turned out to be a fairly lengthy list (for something I couldn’t remember at all an hour before), my friend and I were left laughing in wonder at God’s goodness.
The truth is, there has never been a single thing He promised and failed to do. Because, of course not! He’s God. He doesn’t break promises, and impossible means nothing to Him. So, when I am certain I have heard Him, I need to set up reminders. Things that reassure me that it was Him who spoke, along with the long and ever-growing list of times He has done the impossible for me before.
As my encouraging friend was about to leave, another doubt crossed my mind.
“With such a long list of miraculous blessings, why would He do anything else? Who am I, that He would see fit to do even MORE than all He already has? How dare I expect even one more thing from Him!”
My precious friend put her hand on my arm and leaned in.
“At what point do you expect your earthly dad will want to stop blessing you? If there was something, anything he could do for you, even now, as an adult, wouldn’t he still want to do it? How much more does your heavenly Father love you and still want all the good blessings for you?”
In the New Testament, Peter uses the standing stone imagery when he describes us as ‘living stones’. And it’s true. When we represent Christ well, we are living reminders of who God is and what He’s done.
My friend was a perfect standing stone for me that day (as she is every day). I pray I can be that kind of friend to her and others. A living standing stone. Reminding everyone what God has done, so they can be brave enough to take future leaps of faith. Even crazy-impossible ones!