Scripture: Psalm 103:1-5
Journal: Recount and remember the ways God has moved and acted on your behalf throughout your lifetime. What does this do within you? Express it to God.
Reflection: The word for “benefit” in the Hebrew is gemuwl. It comes from the word gamal, which means to act. Thus, gemuwl means God’s actions. So when the Psalm 103 tells us to “forget not his benefits,” it is actually telling us to forget not how God has acted in the past. The way he has moved and worked and acted on our behalf in the past, should assure us that he will continue to do so in the future.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of all the ways God has moved and worked and acted on my behalf throughout the course of my lifetime, it is more than a little overwhelming. I cannot help but be extraordinarily grateful. Unfortunately, I do not do that often enough. I get so consumed with the anxiety and insecurity, or the even the fear and frustration and anger, of the present moment, that I simply forget how he has acted in the past. It is the old, “What have you done for me lately?” mentality I suppose.
But the words of this ancient prayer offer another way. It is the way of remembrance. It is about stopping and remembering the ways that God has worked and acted in our lives thus far, and allowing that to give us confidence that he has not changed; he can and will care for us once again. Oh, he might not make things work out exactly the way we want them to, but he will work them out in such a way that we grow in wisdom and grace and truth, in love and compassion and beauty. And through all of it, he will be glorified.
So the next time you are tempted to react in fear, frustration, or despair over some circumstance in your life, or the lives of those you love, remember to remember. Stop. Look back over the course of your lifetime and see all the ways that God has loved you and cared for you and provided for you in the past, and rest assured that this time will be no different. You can put your trust, yet again, in him. Thanks be to God!
Closing Prayer: O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! (Psalm 103:2, The Message)