A friend recently asked if I could look back on my life and see the Lord's working in the past to bring me to the realities of the present. I quickly answered in the affirmative, although some yesterdays still seem a bit cloudy regarding their place and purpose regarding today (and tomorrow, for that matter). One experience of the past that clearly fits into puzzle involves the 100th Psalm.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord, He is God. It is He hath hath made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good.
His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endureth to all generations."
During the first years of my elementary education (in a public school, no less), I heard these blessed words every school day. The Psalm was played over the classroom intercom each morning before we began our studies, chosen by the administrators and teachers of the school, I am sure, as a way to prepare students for the day's assignments. For me, I have little doubt that an even greater preparatory work took place deep within my heart as the sowing of the seed of God's Word led to the reaping of salvation when I was eighteen years old. Of course, I likely didn't listen that closely every day to the recitation. The words penetrated nevertheless, and again, I look back and know beyond all question that the Lord led me to Woodcock Elementary School in the early days of my life for the gracious purpose of exposing my heart and mind to the blessed declarations of the 100th Psalm.
Again, a journey into the past will not allow a complete understanding of the whys and wherefores of God's working in our lives. Some things will make sense, while others will cause us to wonder. As Moses wrote, some things of the Lord's doings are revealed. Others are secret (Deuteronomy 29:29). We often cannot see how this or that fits into His loving purposes. We can always, however, choose to believe that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). Indeed, our confidence in the "that" is more important then our understanding of the "how". Let us give thanks for the 100th Psalms in our lives, those obvious traces of the Lord's hand that elicit grateful remembrances and certainties of His involvement and orchestration of our lives. And let us also give thanks for the unseen traces that fit no less perfectly into God's purposes…
We shall understand it better by and by,
but in the here and now,
we rest on the that
more than on the how.
"God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
(Ephesians 1:3; 11).
Weekly Memory Verse
He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved.