“The other night at Bible study,” Stan commented one morning, “we got on the subject of whether we would have been better than the early disciples.”
“Better in what way?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “there are lots of instances in the Bible where the early disciples just didn’t understand Jesus, who He was, what He said, and what he did. Some of the people in the Bible study class were really adamant that they thought they wouldn’t have been like that. They were pretty confident that they would have been better with Jesus than some of the early disciples.”
“What do you think?” I asked.
“I can only speak for myself,” Stan replied, “but I’m pretty sure I would have been just like some of the early disciples. I probably would have had the same problem with spiritual amnesia. Sometimes I think I probably would have been an oaf about a loaf!”
“Spiritual amnesia? Oaf about a loaf? What do you mean?”
“There’s a story in Mark’s gospel,” Stan replied, “where the disciples were in a boat with Jesus fairly soon after Jesus had fed a large crowd with virtually nothing but a miracle. The disciples had actually seen him do that twice, once with five thousand, and then again with four thousand right before they were in the boat with Him. Jesus fed the whole bunch with just a few fish and a little bit of bread.”
“I remember that,” I said, “but what does that have to do with spiritual amnesia and being an oaf.”
“Well,” Stan said, “the disciples were in the boat when they realized they hadn’t brought with them enough bread to eat. They only had one loaf and they were concerned about getting hungry.”
“That does seem kind of shortsighted,” I replied. “They were concerned about not having enough bread when they were in the boat with Jesus who was capable of supplying all the bread they might need. I can see that it was like they had amnesia and couldn’t remember what Jesus had already done.”
“Exactly,” Stan said. “And it’s the same with me way too often. I forget what God has already done for me, all that He wants to do, all that He’s capable of doing, and I go off being anxious with concern over not having enough bread, whatever that bread may be or look like.”
Bible verses to consider:
And they began to discuss with one another the fact that they had no bread. Mark 8:16.
And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Mark 8:21.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all of your provision of everything I need for spending eternity with you when it’s time, as well as everything I need on this side of eternity to know you and Jesus more fully. I confess that too often I have spiritual amnesia and forget that you are capable of providing all I need. I tend to look to myself and to other people and things apart from you, rather than to you. Please forgive that foolishness. Please open me to see, accept, and embrace all of your provision in every aspect of my life. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you tend to have spiritual amnesia, forgetting what God has already done for you and, therefore, not relying on Him and His provision in the present as well as in the future? If so, what do you think causes that? Is there a remedy for such spiritual amnesia? Who do you think wants you to forget what God has done and is capable of doing? How does an ever-deepening personal relationship with God through Christ help avoid spiritual amnesia? Is that what you want? Why or why not? If you want it, do know that it will not just happen by itself?