Having just finished our oldest daughter’s senior year of high school, we’ve taken lots of them over the past year. From the last first day of school in August to the reception after graduation in May, the past year is well documented on my cell phone!
We typically take pictures because we want to remember something about that moment in time. It could be the people that were there, the place where we were, what we were doing right then, or a combination of all three.
Pictures are a brief glance at that particular moment in life. And by the way, few people know what’s going on behind the smiles. Maybe it was a wonderful, memory-filled vacation…or maybe it was the one minute of the whole trip when the kids weren’t bickering back and forth!
Hopefully, we all have some spiritual memories as well, times in our lives we can look back on and say, “Thank God for how He worked in that situation.” Or “I wasn’t sure how that need was going to be met, but God was faithful.”
How often in the Old Testament we see God commanding His people to remember what He has done for them in the past. Not only was He to receive glory for His mighty acts, but it was also to encourage them for the future.
The Israelites getting ready to fight against the Canaanites and take over the Promised Land needed to remember how God had mightily redeemed them out of Egypt. That reminder of God’s power and faithfulness was to encourage them in their current struggle.
In Psalm 105, King David reminds His readers of God’s covenant with the Israelites. He takes us all the way back to Abraham, through Jacob and Joseph, and describes His deliverance of His people from Egypt.
In verse 105, we read, “Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth…”
Whatever trial you or I are in today, recalling God’s hand at work in our past will give us the faith to go on. How helpful and encouraging it can be to mindfully pause in our day with the purpose of recalling God’s faithfulness. Psalm 77:12 says, “I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
These thoughts were actually inspired by the song Turn Around and See written by Heather Sorenson. Here are the words to the first verse and chorus.
You followed God’s hand, but you’re not where you had planned.
You stumbled in the place you were sure that you could stand.
So you press toward the goal, giving God control,
but the path is all uphill, and it seems you’re standing still.
But turn around and see!
Look what God has done:
Redeeming ev’ry scar to the image of His Son.
The battles you have fought are the vict’ries He has bought.
Though there’re many miles to go, and the journey seems so slow,
don’t lose faith down here below.
Just turn around and see.
You can listen to the song here.
We don’t want to dwell in the past. But looking back and recalling God’s faithfulness can give us the courage we need to live today.
- How’s Your Memory? 4 Benefits of Recalling God’s Work in Your Life
- When You’re in the Pit, Look Forward to Your New Song
- Beware! Potential Danger Ahead if You Forget