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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Hope for Epically Short Memories

In Psalm 42:6 (here @ Bible Gateway) the sons of Korah are in despair.  I am not clear on why.  However the context of the Psalm gives some clues.
Hope for Epically Short Memories
The psalmist is in tears day and night, people are denigrating his belief in God, he is not finding the comfort in his personal worship with the Lord as he has in the past.

Ever experienced anything like that?  I have.

What is the cure?  How do we get out of that kind of tailspin?

In our verse, the psalmist gives us a way, remember.  Remember what the Lord has done.  He mentions Mount Hermon.  That is where the Lord met with Israel for the first time and gave them the Law (Psalm 133:3 (here @ Bible Gateway)).  So the psalmist suggests that the way out of despair is to remember what the Lord has done.

Problem.

Israel had a really short memory.  As did most of the people we read about in the text of the Bible including some of our “heroes” of the Bible like David.  So do I.  I forget what He has done.  I forget the grace that He has lavished on me.  I forget.

Judges 2:7, 10 – 11 (here @ Bible Gateway), memorializes the short memory of Israel.  One generation after Joshua dies, Israel serves Baal.  They forgot.

Which highlights for us both their and our challenge with despair.  It is hard to remember what God has done for us when we are dependent on our epically short memories.

So what to do?

Write it down.  Record what God is doing in your life.  Record what He is teaching you.  Record what you are learning about Him.  In good times, in bad times, in all times.  In a real sense that is what David did with his psalms.  In a real sense we are reading his journal when we peruse the Psalms he wrote.

If we write down what God has done, what we have learned, we can review it.  When we are troubled, when we need help with despair, we can pick up an old journal and review the grace the Lord has poured out on our lives.

For me this has been a great blessing.  It has been a comfort, an encouragement, and at times a rebuke for my forgetting what He has done in my life.

Full disclosure, it took about three or four iterations of keeping a journal before it became a consistent discipline for me.  However, regardless of how many starts and stops it took me or takes you, it is worth the effort.