I was angry and depressed. I thought to myself, “Where is God when I need Him the most!” I was in total despair. My problem was too big and carried with it too much pain. I was trying to trust God for the answer, but there I sat hidden among the books on the thirteenth floor of the university library . . . alone, with no answer.
Staring at the floor, I noticed an old book on the bottom shelf, and though surrounded by thousands of old books, this book caught my attention. Kneeling down, I carefully slid out the small book with its fragile binding. Curious at how old it really was, I checked to see when it was published; it definitely was old—a book from 1830! It appeared to be a book of essays. As I sat back down at my desk, the book fell open to the beginning of one of the essays titled, “Why God Gave Us Memory.”
The author stated that God gave us memory so when we are in the middle of a problem in our life, we can look back and remember how God had helped us in the past, and what He has done in the past, He will again do for us in the future. Immediately, the profound truth of this simple statement stopped my overwhelming despair dead in its tracks. I quietly prayed through tears, “Father, you have clearly spoken to me. Help me to trust you. I am so sorry I doubted and complained. Please forgive me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”
Wiping the tears from my eyes, I sat back and began to “remember.” Back when I was getting ready to go to college, I needed a car. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me one, and I didn’t have enough money, so I began praying for a car. When it was near time to leave for school, out of the blue, my uncle gave me his old car. He was trading up, but couldn’t get what he wanted for the trade-in, so he gave it to me.
Then I recalled the time I needed gas money to go help a friend, but had none. Not even a nickel. I prayed, “Lord, this friend really needs help tonight, and I don’t have any money to buy gas. Please help me! In the name of Jesus, Amen.” That day in the mail I received a forgotten tax return that was post marked six months earlier! Apparently, it had been lost in the mail trying to follow my move from Canada. I cashed the check, and drove down that night to help my friend.
The memories kept coming….Another time I was walking through a large public building and was really hungry and didn’t have any money. I kind of muttered under my breath, “Lord, I’m really hungry.” A couple of minutes later, a man walks up to me carrying a large brown sack. He says, “We just had a luncheon upstairs, and I didn’t want to see all these good roast beef sandwiches thrown out . . . would you like one?” I think my dropped jaw and the shocked look on my face shouted “YES!” loud and clear as he handed me the huge sandwich. As I was eating, all I could think was, “Wow, Lord! You make a GREAT roast beef sandwich!”
More memories kept flooding my mind, and all I could do was weep and smile. Finally, sitting up and again wiping the tears from my eyes, I had “remembered” and was filled with peace and confidence. What He had done in the past, He would do again . . . and solve my difficult problem.
Post Script: He did.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. –Psalms 77:11 (NIV)
Copyright © 2013 by William D. (Nick) Nichols
[Dedicated to Caleb from Brazil.]