An Elephant Never Forgets

I wish I were an elephant.


Why is it that when my daughter wakes up screaming for the 3rd time in the middle of the night that I so quickly forget the feeling that washed over me when I heard her cry for the very first time? Why do I forget so quickly the mothers that have lost their children or aren’t able to have one in the first place? If only I were an elephant mother, then I wouldn’t forget.


Why is it that when my loving husband doesn’t just read my mind and know what I need from him do I so quickly forget how terribly much I yearn for his presence when we’re apart? Why do I forget the wives in broken or abusive marriages? Why do I forget the widows? If only I were an elephant wife, then I wouldn’t forget.


Why is it that when I am faced with disappointment, suffering, pain, or loss do I so quickly forget how Christ brought me through each previous struggle? Why do I so very quickly forget so many of the lessons I have already learned? Why do I think this time is any different than the last time, when my Savior carried me, built me up, and blessed me through each trial? If only I were an elephant daughter of the King, then I wouldn’t forget.


James paints an all too real picture of our forgetfulness.


James 1:22-25

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.


I too often “merely listen”, and end up forgetting “what I look like”. I have had so many moments where I have felt unnecessarily overwhelmed because I did not “look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue in it”. I think that my life and my relationships are somehow more personal, and that I might know better how to maintain them than some old book telling me how to live and love. How very foolish of me to forget the Wisdom of my Father in Heaven.


Psalm 46 is a wonderful comfort, reminding me that all I have to do is be still and know that God is there as my ever-present help.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,

   an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

   and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

   the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

   God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,

   the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease

   to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

   he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

   I will be exalted among the nations,

   I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Lord, Help me be still and trust your almighty and constant presence. Dwelling in your forgiving peace will help me to be better than an elephant wife and mother, but to be the wife, mother, and Christian woman that you designed me to be. Remind me Lord, and don’t let me forget to remain in You so that You remain in me.