I will remember the deeds of the LORD;

yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

Psalm 77: 11

 

Asaph was looking back to a time when things were clearer and when trouble didn’t present the same degree of challenge as it was in his contemporary world. But his point wasn’t one of nostalgic retreat or imaginative yearning for those better days. He had a very practical and useful point in mind as he thought about the engagement of the people of his nation with God and about the way that God was their strength and their guide for living. Now there were at least two true things to take away from that backward look, the first is that God was unwaiveringly faithful and ever present; the second is that the people were not fully committed to following and to serving God.

 

We seem to live in the times of Asaph, and the history that we have to look back over is now far longer and even richer than the one that he could view. In challenging times it is good to follow the example of this ancient poet and take the time to consider and to meditate upon the nature and the character of God while searching His Word and our own stories for examples of the Lord’s presence, grace, and love. For me these words are powerful and provocative. They lead me to realize how little of my day is truly spent in reflection and prayer, and they cause me to rethink the priorities of my life as lived out in the rhythms of practicing the faith that I claim.

 

Even in my distracted and too busy to be present state, the Lord is with me and surrounds me with reminders and expressions of His faithful love and His righteous truth. As I do turn my eyes toward God’s Word and seek His face in those pages and consider how He has been my strength and my provision throughout the days of my life, my heart is broken by the realization of my wandering ways. However, God is gracious and He is not taken by surprise by anything that people say or do. As I open my heart to Him and listen to His voice as He responds to my concerns and desires, the Lord speaks wise words of encouragement, direction, and purpose for me to take in and to follow. These times of contemplation of the ways that God has written my story are enlightening and empowering as He prepares me to take on the next steps in my journey of faith.

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