“Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?” (Mark 8:18)
There have been many studies over the years that have researched our ability to retain what we learn. Most of these studies have shown that we only retain about five percent of the knowledge passed down to us through lectures, about ten percent when we read, and fifty percent when we discuss what it was we just heard. But the number improves exponentially when we practice and apply what we have learned in real life situations.
I don’t know if there is a spiritual equivalent, I sense that there might be, because at times I have found myself having to relearn a spiritual truth in my life, sometimes more than once.
Upon reflection, I suppose that I’m comforted to know that the scriptures recorded that the disciples, guys that hung around Jesus every day for several years, evidently had similar struggles.
On one of those occasions, Mark recorded that Jesus had recently demonstrated his capacity to feed thousands in two separate events in which the disciples were present; yet Jesus overheard an anxious conversation amongst the disciples while on one of their boat trips. They had discovered that they had only packed one loaf of bread amongst them for the entire journey. Oops…typical guys…everyone thought someone else took care of the trip logistics.
Hearing the conversation, Jesus reminded them that they had witnessed Him feed thousands…then He the asked them;
“…don’t you remember?”
In many ways, I’m at times like those disciples. I’m quick to get anxious, and at times quick to forget how God has provided for me in difficult times. I believe that part of my maturing will evidence itself when I start doing a better job at remembering the times when God has provided or comforted me instead of allowing myself to respond to a new situation with anxiety.
I can understand that non-believers would have good reason to respond to life’s pressures with anxiety, but those of us that follow Jesus, should respond by first remembering God’s gracious responses when we have faced pressures or circumstances in the past.
My failure to respond in faith reflects my lack of gratitude and trust in our Lord. Instead, I need to practice and apply my faith by trusting for God’s current provision and remembering His past provisions .