Spiritual Amnesia

Throughout my day I’m constantly thinking about the future—what meeting is next, what I’ll do at the gym that afternoon, when I’ll get to go home and see my wife and daughter, etc. Sometimes I’m consumed with what’s on the calendar in the coming weeks and months—Christmas services, vacations, time with extended family.

My imperfect parenting has been helped along by my baby’s infant amnesia. In the early weeks of her life, it would have been easy for me to fear that a tearful, scream-filled bedtime routine could ruin my daughter for days. Yet almost every instance of a bonk on the head, a fussy naptime, or a terrible ride in the car seat can be solved by just a little bit of time—some food, sleep, or a funny sound from Daddy. It’s as though the negative experience never happened. Though I might be traumatized by a night filled with her crying, Gemma never seems to be. Infant amnesia—it’s part of how children and their parents make it through those early stages.

As I pondered this, I realized I often function this way with God. He provides direction, comfort, and rescue, and I may remember to praise Him for a few days. But so often when trials arise again, I have a type of spiritual amnesia. Judging by the fear that wells up in my heart, one might think I had never experienced God’s goodness in my life. The fear of the future erases the providence of the past.

Over and over again in the Old Testament, God commands Israel to never forget His goodness, for the memory of His grace will lead them into faithfulness. I’ve found the article linked below particularly helpful as it addresses this idea through the biblical picture of Ebenezer. You may recognize the term from 1 Samuel, but it’s more likely you’ll remember it from the beloved hymn Come Thou Fount. May you be blessed as you recount God’s goodness to you.

Here I Raise My Ebenezer


Ethan Weaver

Associate Pastor, Worship Arts