“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will He never show His favor again?
Has His unfailing love vanished forever?
Has His promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has He in anger withheld His compassion?"
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out His right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all Your works
and meditate on all Your mighty deeds.”
Psalm 77:7-12 (NIV)
Two lilac bushes stand outside our home. As spring approached this year and I saw the buds begin to form on their branches, my heart began to sing. Soon I would be cutting the blossoms and putting them in vases around the house. Their fragrance would fill the air and their glorious color would delight my eyes. But then a late frost came and killed the young buds. Sadly, this year there will be no lilacs to enjoy. However, I have the memory of last year's lilacs to tell me that there really are beautiful lilac bushes in my yard and there is always next year to look forward to. This reminds me of times I anticipated some good thing from the Lord's hand, only to have Him withhold it. At first I reacted in utter disappointment, just as the psalmist does in this psalm. "Will the Lord reject forever. . .has His promise failed for all time?" But no. God is faithful. As the psalmist reasoned, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago." Oh, this is so important isn't it? To recall the past faithfulness and goodness of the Lord. To recount His awesome deeds in the barren times. If we fail to do this we will rob ourselves of the peace and joy of living in the center of God's will. And choosing to remember the beauty and lovely scent of the Lord's past works give us hope for what He will do in the future. "Memory supplies the colours with which hope paints her truest pictures." (Alexander Maclaren)