“Believer, look back through all your experience, and think of the way whereby the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness, how He has borne with your ill manners. Think of how His grace has been sufficient for you, in all your troubles.”
~ CH Spurgeon
Reading through Genesis in my devotions has sent thoughts careening through my brain. Over & over, pillars & monuments pop out from each page. Pretty much every time the Most High answered someone’s prayer, they set up a tangible, physical reminder of His faithfulness.
It came so naturally. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob set up so many stones, the land was probably riddled with Ebenezers. And it reminded me, that’s how my life should be; that’s how all our lives should be, as Christians: riddled with Ebenezers.
‘Cause He’s been so faithful, lovely humans, so magnificently faithful & we’d do well to remember it.
When the smoky haze of this this world blurs our vision, we need reminders of Christ’s faithfulness to dispel the fog. It’s so easy for us to get blind-sided by this life. When our trials mount, weighing heavily on our weary shoulders, we can so quickly forget what we learned in the sunshine.
Worse, we begin to doubt His promises, thinking it braver to despair than to trust. But as Kelly Havens said, it is never brave to despair, it is far braver to hope.
In CS Lewis’ The Last Battle, King Tirian found himself faced with a similar dilemma as he stood in the cold darkness, chained to a tree, betrayed by his subjects, and taken prisoner by his enemies.
His beloved country, Narnia, slipped into shadow, taken in by the lies of a deceiver; while Tirian, the rightful king shivered, friendless & alone.
But, as his heart sank, he thought back to Narnia‘s past troubles. He remembered how Aslan had always come when things were at their darkest; how children from another world always came with him and set everything to rights. Tirian desperately wished they would come now but it was all too long ago and miracles were a thing of the past.
How often do we think the same thing, lovely humans? We sinfully reason that the Most High isn’t in the business of rescue missions anymore. Our twilight, our dusk seems too dark; too forsaken. So instead of recalling Scripture to our minds or singing hymns & spiritual songs, we hang our heads in despair.
But Tirian mastered his feelings and cried out to Aslan in the night; a howling prayer for deliverance…
and something happened:
“And still there was no change in the night or the wood, but there began to be a kind of change inside Tirian. Without knowing why, he began to feel a faint hope. And he felt somehow stronger.”
~ CS Lewis ~ The Last Battle
Ah, lovely humans, when we pray in faith, despite our circumstances and feelings, something always happens. Our Father strengthens our hearts and revives our Hope, fixing our eyes back on the greatest display of His faithfulness ever known to man.
In the greatest Rescue Mission of all-time, the Son of God became man, landed on this earth, walked among His creatures for 33 years, was unjustly murdered, and then rose from the grave having accomplished salvation and redemption for His people.
That’s why our wild howls to Heaven in the darkness of this world aren’t a waste of time. Just as Aslan eventually answered Tirian’s cry, Christ hears and answers the prayers of His children. So cry aloud, lovely humans, ’cause He’s faithful to hear & answer.
Just as Tirian reflected on past mercies, we must do the same. He remembered how his sire, Prince Rilian lay entrapped by a sorceress miles beneath the earth & no one could discover his whereabouts. But even then, Aslan sent two deliverers, two children to rescue the prince & bring him Home.
So let’s remember, lovely humans.
Let’s remember Joseph languishing in Pharaoh’s dungeon for a crime he didn’t commit. Hope lifted its head just a lil when the butler promised to put in a good word to Pharaoh for Joseph. Buut two.years.passed. & the butler forgot & imagine Joseph’s emotional rollercoaster.
Perhaps for the first several days, perhaps even the first several months, Joseph’s ears perked up when he heard the guards’ heavy tramp marching through the prison. Perhaps the butler had finally remembered & they were coming to release him.
But day after day, for two whole years, his hopes fell flat. We don’t know if he doubted Yahweh but perhaps he did wonder; wondered if he’d die in that cell after all. Perhaps he harboured bitterness against the butler, the one who dangled hope before his eyes & then snatched it away.
We don’t know but we do know the only thing that really matters: Yahweh did not forget Joseph. He delivered him & that should give us hope.
Search through your own life as I search through mine. See the Ebenezers, the answered prayers, the joys, the daily mercies; see the greatest Mercy of all: our salvation. See those pillars & take courage for the future.
& if we can’t see them, well; we just haven’t been paying close enough attention, to our shame. If all we can see are the paths through tears & pain, we’re not living with eternal eyes. ‘Cause there’s always Light that no shadow can touch.
So may we do whatever we have to do to remember.
May we keep notes in our Bibles, on our phones, in our journals, on our laptops, around our houses.
May we pay attention to our lives instead of sleep-walking through them.
Douglas McKelvey calls it “vigilant thankfulness” & what an image! It means we’re constantly on the look-out for opportunities to express our gratitude to our Saviour & Creator. It’s sort of like we’re waiting in ambush every time He showers us with a new mercy; on the alert to return praise to the One Who deserves all of it & more.
May we cultivate that mindset ’cause He’s worthy of whatever efforts we need to expend to make it happen. We have trusted Him this far & He has not led us astray. May He forgive us when we are wrong to despair 🖤
“May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice.
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in Your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May Yahweh fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that Yahweh saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of Yahweh our God.
They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright.
Save, Yahweh! May the King answer us when we call.”
~ Psalm 20 ~
:: we’re in a War, my friends, & we all need Courage on the Front Lines 🖤 ::