The scariest part of my new marriage is that I keep running into people at church I need to introduce my husband to and cannot reliably summon their names at will. Understand, I am talking about people I have known 20 years or more. Is anybody out there relating to this?
So last Sunday I smuggled the church directory into the service and noted who was sitting around me and discretely leafed through it before the greeting part of the proceedings. It wasn’t pretty.
Today I asked the Lord to improve my memory: “For the sake of the kingdom of God,” I said. “People are blessed when we remember their names. Lord, you often impress upon us in your Word the deep significance of names. You who call us by name (Isaiah 43:1), and you who changed people’s names (Genesis 35:10; Isaiah 62:4; Matthew 16:18; Revelation 2:17). On this basis I believe names are important to you, Lord.”
To further buttress my case in requesting something that is normally impossible, I referenced the time He granted King Hezekiah a sign that was absolutely impossible in the natural world, the better to assure the king that His promise would come to pass:
“And Isaiah said, ‘This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?’ And Hezekiah answered, ‘It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.’ And Isaiah the prophet called to the LORD, and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz” (2 Kings 20:8-11).
From here was just a small matter of extrapolating from what God did for Hezekiah to what He was able to do for me, being the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I said to the Lord: “Father, it is an easy thing for memory to get worse at my age. Rather, let my memory get better as I get older.” Sometimes we do not have because we do not ask (James 4:2).
I know for certain that the Lord loves extrapolators, because Jesus was delighted by the mental calculations of the centurion who reasoned to himself: “Hmm, Jesus and I have something in common: He is a commander over the unseen world, and I am a commander over a hundred men. When I say the word, things get done in the military arena. And so I am going to deduce that when Jesus says the word, things get done in the spiritual arena. He would be able to heal my servant even without coming all the way to my house to be in the same room with him” (Matthew 8:5-13). Evidently, very few people had ever taken faith in Jesus that far before.
I am going to stand on precedent and on the evident delight of God in extrapolators, and wait for a memory improvement.