Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 105:1-3, Psalm 105:45, take the long view, it helps now and then to step back, Archbishop Oscar Romero, El Salvador, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the Promised Land, toilet training, two-year-o’

Jo 17Sometimes it’s easy in life, isn’t it, to become bogged down in the problems and issues facing us in this present moment. We may feel they are insurmountable, that we will never find our way through the things pressing in upon us. Yet, time and time again, we do overcome, our situations do change and we do find enough strength and courage to make our way through to the other side, with God’s help and the support of others around us.

I mentioned this recently to a mum of pre-schoolers who was feeling exhausted and also puzzled about how to manage things like toilet training, two-year-old tantrums, sleep times and the myriad of other challenges involved in raising children.

‘It doesn’t last forever,’ I told her. ‘The day will come when you won’t remember the details of this part of your life.’

My airy statement was met with a somewhat doubtful expression, however. And I can understand that, because I have experienced times like this in my own life. Even now, in similar situations, I still need to remind myself to see this part of my life as just that—part of my life—and to put things in better perspective.  And I also often remind myself of the opening words of a prayer/poem usually attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador:

It helps now and then to step back

                         And take the long view

But it is not only about seeing future possibilities and realising this period will not last forever. Equally important is looking back and remembering all the other difficult situations we have come through and the way God helped us and provided for us in these times.

This past week, I read Psalm 105 again. What a reminder to God’s people, both then and now, to remember how God has moved in our lives, blessing and rescuing us time and time again! The psalm begins:

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength seek his face always. Psalm 105:1-3

It goes on to remind the Israelites how God moved throughout history to honour the covenant made with Abraham, down through Isaac, Jacob and Joseph to Moses, bringing them out of Egypt, leading them through the desert, providing food and water along the way—and eventually, enabling the next generation to enter the promised land. Then, right at the end of this sweeping overview of Israelite history, we find three little words—Praise the Lord (45).

Yes, ‘Praise the Lord’ has become something of an old-fashioned, hackneyed phrase these days. Yet what an important reminder to us to look back and praise God for watching over us throughout our life’s journey, no doubt rescuing us along the way from all sorts of things we know nothing about. And, as in the past, God will continue to watch over us, seeing us through life’s challenges.

How good it is to step back at times, take the long view and gain something of God’s perspective on our lives!

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