The word “memory” has been populating the news headlines, and the Lord has drawn my attention to it. A memory card was credited in flipping an election. A report came out about attempts to try to rewrite different events that happened during 2020 and 2021, but those who remember will know the truth. A study made the headlines about the connection between rest and memories. All of these became examples of how memory is an active informant rather than a passive recollection, and it makes sense why the Lord commands us so many times to “remember”.
The Lord began teaching me more about memory through Mark 6:45-52. The disciples were out in the boat on their way to their next divine appointment, following the direction of Jesus to cross to the other side. It took longer than expected, it got dark, and the winds kicked up. They choose to struggle against the wind and mistake Jesus for a terrifying ghost. Maybe even, as a result, the town it says they land in next is not the same as the one Jesus sent them to. When things take longer than expected, when things get dark, and when the winds kick up, the key is in what we remember.
Just a few chapters earlier, in Mark 4, a similar situation occurred. Jesus slept in the boat and then spoke to the wind and waves. The disciples in that similar scene in Mark 6 had also just finished witnessing the feeding of the 5, 000, but it says “because of their hardness of heart” they didn’t understand. The memories had not gotten into their heart, so they didn’t come to their mind.
The Lord reminded me that in the natural there is a condition called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in which individuals become locked in traumatic memories. When “triggers” happen, though the event is in the past, the individual experiences the fear and sensations as if it were happening again at the moment. They are haunted by the “ghost” of trauma or fear. The disciples, in their moment of fear, thought Jesus was a ghost. I believe the Lord is saying that He wants us as a body to trade Him our spiritual PTSD for His PMJD… post-miraculous joy disorder.
When circumstances come to “trigger” us into remembering old fear, old traumas, and old familiar spirits, instead, they would “trigger” deep JOY because they would activate the memory of the miraculous. It would be as if at that moment, we are standing in those miracles again. We know that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, so what we remember that He has done is an activation to experiencing His goodness again. Anything the enemy would send against us would be a reminder of “God overcame that in the Bible” or “God worked that miracle in my friend’s life” or “God has brought me that breakthrough in the past”, and it would set our expectation on the miraculous, not on fear.
Our nine-year-old son recently read aloud to me from a fact book he was reading. “Mom! Did you know memories are formed while you sleep?”. When, the following day, I read a headline about discovering the connection between memory and rest, the Lord brought to mind Jesus sleeping in the boat. He rested in His remembrance of who God is and what He can do. We need to stop “struggling against the wind and waves” long enough to rest in remembrance of who God is and what He does. Then instead of ending up off course, we can pursue the calling on which the Lord has sent us.
Our assignment as we enter the new year is to remember. As we remember, it’s not a passive reflection but an active locking in on our destination. We are choosing to focus on the Lord, who He is, and the assignment on which He has sent us rather than battling the storms we see with our own resources. Remember, remember, remember. It can flip elections. It can change history. It can calm storms.