My friend and I have been talking about looking to our past to find times when God has done an amazing work in our lives, to use as an encouragement to keep going. Keep trusting. Keep holding on.
Those times that are like standing stones.
You know, in the old testament where someone set up a pile of stones in a place where God met them. They were reminders of what God had done in the past. They were visual reminders of God’s faithfulness to them. Of His love. Of His involvement.
Sometimes we need visual reminders of what God has done in our lives. When we don’t have visual reminders, we have our memories.
When we are down and discouraged, feeling faint and weary, can we focus our thoughts back to when God has done something amazing? Even if it is a “small” thing compared to a burning bush, or the parting of the sea.
Can we, can I, look back and see the times when God has parted something that has been an impassable sea to me? Can I look to the past and see the promises fulfilled? Can I find hope in the victories of the past, when I am in the midst of hurt and despair?
I have been struggling this past week. I have been dealing with a few issues that have cropped up recently to haunt me. I wrote the other day as I was doing my devotional that I desperately want rest… I am so weary.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
My Savior and my God.”
“My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon - from Mount Mizar.”
That is me. My soul has been downcast. My soul has been disturbed. When David wrote this, so was he. But he made a choice to remember God. To remember what God had done for him in the past. It was a call for his soul to trust in God, to trust that He would continue what He had started in David’s life.
So, I am trying to look back and see today how God has worked.
The standing stones I have set up are really contained in this blog. The posts show my transitions from captivity to freedom. The times God has led be with a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day.
I was thinking earlier today that if I had to rely on my own memory, it is faulty. I can easily be led to believe that really everything that happened is a coincidence. I find that I discount so easily what God has done. My mind, my memory are fickle, so is my heart and it easily gives in to despair.
But, I have visual reminders. I have posts here on my blog, comments and emails from others.
It is a matter of refocusing my mind. Hopefully that will help me refocus my heart as well.
One of the things I read in a devotional the other morning talked about how God desires us to pour out our hearts to Him. He knows the deepest desires of our hearts, and He wants us to verbalize them to Him. He wants us to ask, because He delights in giving us good things.
As Psalm 62:5-8 says;
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your hearts to him,
For God is our refuge. Selah.”
He is my rock, my salvation, my hope, my refuge. David’s psalm is a call to his own heart, and to the hearts of those who hear it, to constantly trust in God. No matter what is going on around me, no matter what else I might be tempted to put my trust in; no matter where I might run to try to hide from my pain; ONLY GOD is my refuge. Only with God am I safe.
He is enough. His power is enough to answer ALL our desires, all our prayers, all our needs, no matter how trivial they might seem.
My biggest heart’s desire is that the truth of what I know in my head… of who He is, what He’s done, how much He loves me, how I am the apple of His eye, that He is more than enough for me in everything no matter what happens… I want these things I know in my head to be worked into the very fiber of my being.
Though I feel like this will never happen, I look back and see what He has done, and how He has worked some of these truths a bit deeper. Each time I work on something else, the truth works in more deeply.
So even though my heart is bruised and wounded by some things that have happened this week; even though it is discouraged, downcast, disturbed; I know in my head that He will continue to do what He has started.
I am choosing for this moment to believe it.
Because I have these standing stones; these places of remembrance; these promises that God will continue to heal me.
“By day the Lord directs His love,
at night His song is with me -
a prayer to the God of my life.”