Recall to Mind

And I said, My strength and my hope

Is perished from the LORD:

Remembering mine affliction and my misery,

The wormwood and the gall.

My soul hath them still in remembrance,

And is humbled in me.

This I recall to my mind,

Therefore have I hope.

It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed,

Because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning:

Great is thy faithfulness.

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul:

Therefore will I hope in him.

Jeremiah 3:18-24

Still in remembrance

We have no trouble remembering hard times. A memorial of the incident leaps to mind when something terrible happens, bringing back all the emotions we experienced at that time. This is like… I remember when…

Jeremiah remembered his hard times.

But then, something happens. He writes, “This I recall to my mind.”

Recall to Mind

The word recall is a synonym for remembering. Now, I’m no expert, but these two words work differently in my thinking, especially in the spiritual context.

To recall is an intentional act. We mentally run through our files, pulling out the needed memory to bolster our failing hope.

Jeremiah intentionally focused on God and his mercies. His compassions. His faithfulness.

We can’t erase the hard times or the memories that come with them. But we can intentionally recall God’s unfailing love and His faithfulness to us.

On the other hand, the antonym for recall is forget. How easily we forget God’s faithfulness and His blessings during stormy seasons. The writer of Hebrews encourages us not to forget, but to recall!

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised;) Hebrews 10:23

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Most people know the first verse and the chorus to the following song. I want to share the last two verses with you. And if you have the time, the video is well worth the listen. CeCe Winans is one of my all-time favorite gospel singers.

2. Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Thomas O. Chisholm

Public Domain

Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay

Sagging Middles

Once upon a time...Fairy tales often begin with once upon a time, but the tale doesn’t stop there. It can’t. A story ends well if we find the answer to one question…

And then what happened?

Without that question, we have no plot. And there must be a plot. The plot drives the story forward. Right?

But here’s where our story differs from the fiction we read and write. Our stories have sagging middles. And I don’t mean I-quit-doing-my-sit-ups sagging middles. The sagging I refer to is the endless waiting, circuitous wandering middle.

It’s during these middles we, as doers, feel helpless because the forward movement has stopped. There is no action. Or is there?

We fail to comprehend this new plot twist because we’re not the author of our stories. The Master storyteller holds the pen, and He knows the exact pace needed to accomplish the character arc He desires.

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3-4 KJV

Truth: Sometimes we need a sagging middle to move us forward.

The Lord alone knows how to structure our story to bring us to a delightful ending.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV

He has made the needed provisions for our salvation, and He’s making the necessary revision in our lives. Hence, the sagging middle. Hang in there. We can and will finish strong if we yield to His hand.

Another fact to rejoice over is our Lord never suffers from writer’s block! He has known the end of our stories from the beginning.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

As writers we understand, only the Author who knows the ending can finish the story. And He alone will finish the story. May we all allow Him to write His story upon our hearts.

Who’s writing your story?

Click to Tweet: Sometimes we need a sagging middle to move us forward.

 

Light, Salvation, and Strength

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

During the past month, I’ve received prayer requests from family and friends. I’ve also read several prayer requests on social media. It seems we’re all experiencing one thing or another. This morning I wanted to take some time to encourage you. As I pondered on how to do that, my thoughts kept drifting to David’s words in Psalm 27.

Lighthouse matthaeus unsplash

Photo by matthaeus on Unsplash

When I read this scripture, I felt as if the Lord had spread a table before me. I love to feast on the Word. Don’t you? I hope the scriptures below are as sweet to you as they were to me.

In Strong’s Dictionary, we find several words for light, salvation, and strength.

Light

Words for light are illumination, luminary, and light

Illumination

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. Psalm 36:9

Salvation

He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. Psalm 62:2

Words for salvation include the following:

Liberty

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Deliverance

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19

Prosperity

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:25

Strength

Words for strength include fortified place, fortress, force, rock, strength, and stronghold.

Strength

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2

Rock

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71:3

Fortress

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalm 91:2

Stronghold

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7

Though our circumstances may seem dark, we are called children of the day because He has called us into His marvelous light (1 Corinthians 3:17). We are not children of the night or the darkness. Yes. We may experience dark nights or even seasons of darkness, but we need not fear. God will deliver us from every situation.

He is Light, Salvation, and Strength.

He is my Light, my Salvation, and my Strength!