Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes to God Tuesdays, Chapter 8


I'm a few days late, but I didn't want to miss another week of Lelia's ongoing study of Jennifer Rothschild's Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. Chapter eight advises us, "Look Back: Forget Not His Benefits, O My Soul."

Looking back has always been an integral practice in my thought life. Sadly, for many years, the sole purpose of looking back was to dwell on my mistakes and on the hurts I experienced at the hands of others. I could look back, alright - I'd look back and find an excuse for behaving badly today. Somehow, I don't think justifying ourselves is the kind of looking back that Jennifer and the psalmists are calling us to do.

Studying God's Word is the kind of looking back that brings joy and comfort. The entire Bible reviews the story of God's love and His unfailing provision for us. God repeatedly reminded the nation of Israel to remember His great deeds on their behalf, to teach the history of His faithfulness to their children and their children's children. How often in the lives of the early fathers do we see stone monuments erected to mark the places where great signs and wonders have occurred? These were cues for the people to look back and remember all that God had done for them.

Through the grace of God and a lot of hard work on both our parts, looking back today is a source of wonder and promise for me. A few Christmases ago, my daughters constructed a "This Is Your Life" scrapbook for me. It traced my journey from childhood through adulthood, into marriage and family, professional milestones and our reconstruction after Mr W's death. It reminds me of the Old Testament stories of how God worked in His people's lives. There is sorrow, there is joy, there is stiff-necked disobedience and there is redemption.

But underneath it all is the grandest, most glorious love story of all - of my being pursued with passion and of my finally having the grace to stop running. Today, I invite you to look back on your story to see God's thumbprint, to rejoice that through good and bad, bitter and sweet, He always has been and always will be there.

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

The last Word:
Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in Your sight, O Sovereign Lord, You have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. For the sake of Your Word and according to Your will, you have done these great things and made them known to your servant. How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like You, and there is no God but You.
2 Samuel 7: 18-22, NIV.

12 comments:

Denise said...

Amen, beautifully said my friend.

Laura said...

What a blessing to be able to look back on your life and describe it as "as source of wonder and promise". I'm not there yet, but this book is helping me get there.

Hope your day is blessed, Gail.

Feeling His grace,
Laura

Crown of Beauty said...

What a blessing your daughter is, to make you that scrapbook! I would love to have a chance to go through its pages. But, in a way, your blog is like a scrapbook.. and like you, I always like to look back to see what God has done. If you have time, I invite you to read one of my previous posts, Water from Bethlehem's Well at

http://mla-crownofglory.blogspot.com/2008/09/water-from-bethlehems-well.html

It talks about looking back and evaluating our present position.

I'm always happy to read one of your posts, so full of personal insight.

Stacy said...

Oh, Gail!

I loved your words: "But underneath it all is the grandest, most glorious love story of all - of my being pursued with passion and of my finally having the grace to stop running." I have grown so weary of trying to hide, escape and run and am continually amazed by God's passionate pursuit.

You continue to be such a blessing to me. I don't know if this will make sense or not but each time, I read your posts or receive a message from you, I feel as if I am receiving a "hug" from a dear friend.

Thank you for sharing the verses from 2 Samuel. I wasn't familiar with these words. Yet another means of encouragement.

Praying that your week is filled with many precious moments of joy!

With Love and Appreciation,
Stacy

Carol said...

What a beautiful post Gail. Words of wisdom that you share.

What a wonderful gift given to you by your daughter. I lvoe the scripture you chose at the end.

Love,
Carol

Anonymous said...

Gail,

This passage you wrote is so beautiful it made me cry. Thank you, thank you for reminding me about God's love for us.

Love,
Karen

Sue said...

This was worth waiting for! I think we've noticed similarities to each other before, but again, I could have written much of this about myself. Isn't the love of God awesome?!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Looking back, I have so much to be thankful for...reminds me not to get too bogged down in the details of my chaotic and busy of my current season. I know that God is at work to bring about his purposes and good end, and the fact that I'm given a role to play makes my everyday worth living.

peace~elaine

Cinj said...

God does some awesome things in our lives, doesn't he? Though it's not apparent to us at the time, reflecting sometimes gives us the perspective that we need after we have weathered the storms.

Angie said...

I would love to see the "scrapbook"...but honestly---I think mine would scare me to death!

I have had you on my heart. Praying for you. :) LOVE YOU Dear Sister!

Angie said...

I would love to see the "scrapbook"...but honestly---I think mine would scare me to death!

I have had you on my heart. Praying for you. :) LOVE YOU Dear Sister!

Angie said...

I would love to see the "scrapbook"...but honestly---I think mine would scare me to death!

I have had you on my heart. Praying for you. :) LOVE YOU Dear Sister!