“My heart breaks when I remember the past, when I went with the crowds to the house of God and led them as they walked along, a happy crowd, singing and shouting praise to God”.
Ps 42:4 GNB
The gift of memory is one of God’s greatest blessings to human beings. Looking back we can remember our childhood and, if it was good, give thanks to God for the love of those who loved us, provided for us and taught us. Our memory also enables us to learn and gain knowledge, develop skills and improve in wisdom. And memory is the foundation of faith.
The psalm-writer remembered happy experiences of worship – crowds singing in the streets as they made their way to the sanctuary, God disclosing himself, and him leading them. Maybe he had become ill and, embarrassed at the guilt that was associated with sickness, decided to spend a period as a recluse far away from the crowds. Now he only had memories to live on, but he used them to jolly himself up, to bring the memory of God’s presence back, and to kindle hope that one day he would return to the place of joy and inspiration.
When you are feeling down-hearted, and all of us do on occasions, recall previous experiences, maybe of worship, maybe of times when you have walked closely with God, maybe of a conversion experience, or of answered prayer. Let them remind you that God is still God whether you are happy or sad and he is not to be measured by the yardstick of your moods, be they high or low. Recall too, that Christ faced many low times and in the end it was the cross that defined him, not the transfiguration.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, be with me in the bad times as well as the good ones.