In 2 Peter 1:12-13, Simon Peter says, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body…” (NIV)
I am a very forgetful person, even (and maybe especially) when it comes to the Biblical truths that form my self-identity. I know that I want to follow God, but left to my own devices I just live the life I feel like living in the moment. My inner, self-absorbed monologue never reminds me to read my Bible or to pray. God understands how short our memories and attention spans can be; this is one of the reasons why He created us to be in relationships.
We don’t have to go to church every Sunday and attend Bible studies every week to be a Christian, but I find that the more often I do, the stronger my bond with God tends to be. This is largely because of the people these communities surround me with, people that give me the much-needed reminder to keep my eyes on God.
Our relationships determine how we spend much of our lives; they dictate what activities we participate in, what we talk about, and how we view the world around us. They also determine the type of advice and solace we receive when life gets difficult.
Like many people, I have struggled through bouts of depression and anxiety. One of the side effects of these illnesses is that they keep you focused inward, which makes it even more difficult to remember to focus on God. As natural introvert, I have struggled with this aspect of depression and anxiety. I keep struggles to myself and away from the people and the God that I love.
Having a Christian boyfriend, and later husband, taught me the importance of having Christian relationships in my life.
In the midst of an especially difficult time, in lieu of chocolates or roses, my then boyfriend Tyler gave me a fittingly pink copy of My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers for Valentine’s Day. He wrote two verses on the inside cover:
Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Luke 1:37: “For nothing is impossible with God.”
When Tyler saw me struggling, he reminded me to look towards scripture and gave me a resource to do it with. My relationship with God was stronger because I was spending my time someone who had a relationship with God.
Since then, I have become more purposeful about sharing my struggles with Tyler and other people in my Christian community. I know that the more often I do this, the more opportunities I have to be reminded of God’s love for me and the strength that He gives me.
In 1 Peter 5:7, Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (NIV)
If you have relationships with people who are guided by these words, then you know you are surrounded by people who can help turn your heart and focus in the right direction.
Featured Photo by: Jessica Wagner