Down Nature's Paths


 "Retrogressive Amnesia"

BY THE TERM "God's two books" we usually mean the Bible and the created world of plants and animals. But our own physical bodies are part of this world of nature that forms God's other book, and in their structure and functioning are found many illustrations of spiritual laws.

The wondrous plan of salvation is revealed in certain workings of our bodies and in certain powers of plants and animals. It is in this way: The Bible teaches us that God was not caught unprepared when Adam and Eve sinned. If He had been, there would have been no need for a plan of salvation for sinners would have been dead before it could have been thought out. But Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Potentially He was ready to die in man's stead before man needed such a Saviour. That is the reason Adam and Eve did not perish the instant they sinned. Their Substitute was ready, prepared to give them another chance.

This foreplanning of God is illustrated in the power of coagulation of the blood. Before there is any bleeding, and ready though there never should be any hemorrhage, is that wonderful power that controls the loss of blood-God's provision for lifesaving before death strikes. In plants the power to heal an injury is there in the plant before the injury is made.

Not long ago I ran across the medical "big words" at the head of this chapter, and I have found them true in my own experience and that of several friends who have recently passed through sudden injuries. They illustrate a loving aspect of the plan of salvation. "Amnesia" means "loss of memory." "Retrogressive" means "working backwards." The doctors use these words to describe a certain merciful effect of the shock of a severe accident. The mind is not only rendered unconscious for a longer or shorter time by the force of the accident itself, but it forgets the preceding few moments so that it does not recall how the accident came about. My friend struck down by a careless driver has no memory of crossing the highway or seeing the approaching speeder. My other friend who fell down the basement stairs does not recall what caused the fall. It is a commonplace to hear the reply, "I don't know," to the question: "Just how did you come to hurt yourself?" The answer is true; a backward-working forgetfulness has blotted out the agony of sudden fear or the horrible crash or blow.

This is a merciful provision of the Creator. The effects of the accident on the nervous system are lessened, and the recovery of nerve tone is improved.

What is the connection between this retrogressive amnesia and a Bible truth? It illustrates, "The former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17. "The former troubles are forgotten." Verse 16. "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old." Isaiah 43:18. "In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found." Jeremiah 50:20.

Our wounding by sin is not going to live in our memories in the new earth. To all eternity we shall know that we have been through an experience that has cost our Saviour the prints of the nails in His hands. But a blessed retrogressive amnesia will replace the inexpressible agonies of sin by the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.


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