Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Psalm 77 Remembering the Past

Often we are told do not dwell on the past, because we cannot change it. For most circumstances this is true, but there is a situation in which dwelling on the past may be constructive. When times are tough and it seems that our faith is tested, it can be helpful to revisit the past and remember how when things seemed the darkest, the light broke. When we thought there was no solution, from out of the blue one suddenly appeared. Whenever we experience any situation we believe we cannot bear, we should look back to the times when God in loving-kindness delivered us from our stress and strife. If we can look back objectively, we will see that in every situation there was a life lesson that we are grateful for now.

When things get difficult it is easy to begin to lay blame elsewhere. Even the most faithful believers struggle with this impulse. Many of us speak as though God has sent the troubles our way when we experience challenges. “God never gives us more than we can handle.” No doubt this is a very human response to difficult times, but it also is a way in which we use the name of God in vain so that we do not have to change our perspective. If God “sent” the trouble, we can hold on to our victimhood much longer. The truth is that God does not send us troubles, but God is with us in the midst of our troubles (v. 10).

Once we change the way in which we view our situation, we are able to look back, ande remember the good old days from a clear perspective (v. 11). When we take the opportunity to reflect on the history of our relationship with God with an open mind and heart (meditate), we can always find the evidence of God’s marvelous work in our lives (vv. 12–15). The light breaks and we see that God’s way is perfect. God is the creative, invisible presence behind all things. Spirit can inspire both spiritual wisdom (Jacob) and the creative power to bring that wisdom into manifestation (Joseph).

When the currents of negative thoughts (waters) in our lives are confronted with the Spirit of God, they cannot survive. We are shaken to our core (very deep trembled). These waves of cleansing (storms) also have physical manifestations (the earth trembled and shook). The invisible presence of Spirit does its primary work in our consciousness (yet your footprints were unseen). When we are in the throws of a cleansing of consciousness, it is important to remember that God is working out a plan for us. The sooner we recognize the good in every situation, the easier the overcoming and transcending the lesson will be. Just look back and remember that there has never been a time when God deserted us.

And so it is! Amen!