Recounting His Graces

I struggle with spiritual memory loss.

When anxiety and fear strikes, I clench my hands and hold on tight as I let fear and anxiety take me on the ride of my life, a ride that nearly kills me (2 Timothy 1:7). In these times, I find myself asking questions I already know the answer to but because fear is the driver, I suffer from spiritual memory loss and begin to question:

 Is God good?

But what if…?

I fear what He will allow next.

Can I really rest in Him?

If I’m being honest, these are questions I wrestle with often. I know what the right answer is because I know what God’s word says. The problem isn’t in the believing but in the trusting and then being obedient in the trusting. God is good. I believe it, I’ve seen it but do I still believe God is good if … Someone once asked a simple yet impactful question, “doesn’t a believer have to believe?” Uh, yes. That’s a no-brainer answer but then I ask myself do I really believe God is good in the ugly, painful, gut-wrenching…


death of a child

death of a parent(s)

loss of a job

loss of ability

loss of success

car accident that takes the life of a spouse

child drowning in a pool while playing at his grandparents

30 something mom diagnosed with breast cancer

mother having to deliver a stillborn baby

If God is good all of the time, doesn’t he have to be good even during these times (Romans 8:28)?

Doesn’t a believer have to believe? I see God’s goodness and grace all over the place but can I see it in these moments? I don’t know I want to. I don’t want to see His goodness in the gut-wrenching seasons of life. How do I find grace in darkness, in pain? How do I see God’s goodness when nothing seems good?

I don’t know so I recount His past goodness. I’m reluctant; I feel pain and don’t want to see His goodness in my pain, in other’s pain. There it is, my pride.

Why do I do this? Am I too proud to remember His goodness? Am I too scared counting His goodness would minimize my pain, others pain? Does it even matter why? Shouldn’t my position just be to just trust and obey (Isaiah 50:10)?

I love what Ann Voskamp says in her book, One Thousand Gifts, “Trauma’s storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie. I draw all the hurting voices close and I touch their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don’t fully see that in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good – until we have the perspective of years.”

I must recount His graces to peel away the many layers of unbelief, to recover from spiritual memory loss.

Recounting His graces is accepting His good gifts and thanking Him for them (Psalm 107:1). So I sit, I stare at the paper with pen in hand to start recounting some of His graces in my life. I’m reluctant because my pride runs deep, my friends. I don’t want to write. I suppose this is where faith and trust come in and trump my feelings.

Here I go…

In my unbelief, I begin writing and recounting. My heart begins to soften and tears begin to puddle at my eyes and  begin to stream down my face because I do see His grace, His goodness. I’m undone from my fear and my pride. There is nothing and no one that can soften a hard heart like God can (1 Samuel 10:9). This is new to me, this recounting His goodness in the face of my fears and anxieties. I still proceed with caution even though I know I can throw all caution to the wind with the Lord. You see, I’m still just learning that He is good and He is trustworthy and I can rest in Him. I learn by recounting His graces.

“Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender to stress, aren’t I advertising the unreliability of God? That I really don’t believe? But if I’m grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.”  –Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Maria Bowersock

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