We live in a culture that elevates our experience as the ultimate measure of truth. In our pragmatism we believe that what we can see, hear, touch and feel provide access to what is true about ourselves, the world and even God. The trouble is that our day to day existence is often marked by tragedy, confusion and pain. The difficulty of our mundane experience clouds our perception, rendering our ability to discern truth useless in the face of everyday life.
The psalmist alludes to this conundrum in Psalm 77 as he considers his present trouble and cries out, “I am so troubled that I cannot speak.” His pain causes him to question the goodness and love of God as he says, “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favourable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”.
Our culture balks at the notion that we should look to the past for guidance. We are progressive, always moving forward, always improving on the failures of yesteryear. But this too is folly. For when our present circumstances fail to give us hope where shall we look? Here too the Psalmist helps us. He says “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”
Like the Psalmist if we possess enough humility to forget ourselves for a moment and allow the picture of God’s faithfulness, compassion and greatness to overwhelm our present sensibilities, then we too can move forward in faith with supreme confidence, joy and peace. Today let us forget ourselves and remember what God has done, trusting that he will do it again.