Dory, in the film Finding Nemo, has a problem. She suffers from short term memory loss. She can’t remember things, just minutes after they’ve been told to her. Sometimes in our walk with God, we can be like Dory. We feel so blessed, anchored, safe and secure. Then, trouble comes to our door, and we forget. Again!
The memory lapse
Seemingly out of nowhere, a hard time comes knocking. It always seems to come just as we are feeling ‘on top of the world.’ We forget the faithfulness of God, the very same God we were praising just days, or even hours before for His goodness to us.
Has God forgotten you? Never. Not for one moment. Look at what God says about you: “Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.” “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.” (Isaiah 49:14-16)
I love this depiction of God as the tender, loving parent. What mother, even in our human frailty, could ignore the cries of her hungry baby? The Lord never forgets us, we are always at the forefront of our Father’s mind, and He is moved at the sound of our cry. “In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.” Psalm 31:22
“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalm 18:6
There are many verses throughout the Bible that speak of God hearing when we cry out to Him, but I chose those two specifically, because of how they start off – ‘In panic,’ ‘In my distress.’ Here was King David, a man after God’s own heart, a ‘hero’ of the faith, admitting that he had just had a ‘Dory moment,’ a temporary memory lapse, and had allowed his emotions to get the better of him in his circumstances.
David, hounded and pursued by Saul, had not only felt distress, but had panicked. In these intense emotions David cried out to God, and God instantly responded. “He heard me,” “my cry reached His ears.” And then David remembered! He remembered who God is; so much bigger than anything, or anyone who comes against his Beloved ones.
If you had your Bible open to read that last scripture in Psalm 18, read on down through the Psalm, and see how God responded! “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” Psalm 18:16-17, 19
Help when we most need it
Sometimes, when life feels chaotic, we plead with God for what He has already promised us, as if He didn’t already know our situation; as if we weren’t His precious children! “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
Where is God in the crises and stresses of our lives? “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NKJV) He’s right there, with you, “very present.” He hasn’t changed. His love for you hasn’t waned, nor has His faithfulness, and they never will.
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40:27-29
Be encouraged, if you are having a Dory moment today. You aren’t alone in your temporary memory lapse. But don’t stay there! Remind yourself, as David did, of who God is, who you are to God, and in God! Say to your heart as David did, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:5
(from my book ‘A Mustard Seed Life’ ©2019)