Conviction: Leaning into the Reminders
It was just past 6 o’clock on a Friday night and I was laying on the couch with tear-stained cheeks and puffy eyes to match. I put on a comedy in attempts to brighten my mood, but the effects were minimal. There was a knock on the door and in rushed my sister-in-law with a package in tow.
“I saw the shipping confirmation and I knew you’d be needing this for tomorrow, so I wanted to make sure to personally deliver it,” she said. My sister-in-law worked for a local fashion designer and several weeks prior, I’d placed an order for a particular dress I’d had my eye on for quite some time. I wasn’t expecting it so soon.
I carefully opened the package and there it was – between beautiful water-colored paper, there was the perfectly classic black dress I’d drooled over for months – and tomorrow, I had a reservations at a fancy restaurant with my husband – the perfect occasion for the dress to make its debut.
Fast forward to an hour or so later, driving in the car to pick up pizza with my husband, I recounted my tear-ridden day. I told him I was angry with God. You see, for weeks, I’d been feeling the strain of a thin budget and demanding bills, one-off expenses, and a truck that refuses to be repaired. I prayed for relief and all I was seeing was another hit, another revision to the budget.
“It really makes me wonder, is God even listening to me? Does he even care?” I asked, with perhaps more drama than I knew was true.
“Of course He is listening, and yes, He does care,” my husband reminded me. “Don’t you remember just one hour earlier when the dress was delivered? You weren’t expecting that.”
Like a punch to the stomach, I was filled with immediate guilt and sorrow. Yes, of course God cares about me, down to the smallest, most minute details. I could’ve worn some other item in my closet, but the blessing of this dress showing up unexpectedly, yet in perfect timing, should have triggered a sigh of deep gratitude and thankfulness. Instead, I chose to continue dwelling on the ways in which it didn’t feel like God was listening, convincing myself He never had and never would.
But I’m so thankful my husband reminded me. His words helped to pull me out of my tunneled perspective to see the bigger picture – the master plan in which God is working out all the details just so.
Reminders are imperative to the Christian faith because without them, we’ll cease to remember God’s goodness, his history of keeping promises, and the expectation of the kingdom to come. This is why we have the Bible and why we have to keep re-reading those stories we’ve likely known since Sunday school. It’s why journaling, followed by reflecting, is helpful and sharing stories amongst one another is strengthening. At just the right moment, a friend, significant other, journal entry or scripture will usher in a memory – “hey, remember when God did this in your life? Remember who He is?” and you’ll be brought back to reality.
Remember to allow reminders to sink into your heart, mind, and soul. And don’t forget to allow yourself to be the vessel of reminders to a brother or sister in need. It’s all a part of our duty in the beautiful gift of community we’ve been given.