“Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.”
Have you ever had one of those experiences that you just can’t stop talking about, possibly to the point of embarrassment to yourself and the irritation of others? Maybe it was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation or something your child did, but more often than not it’s a miraculous event, an illness, a traumatic event, a joyful event, a loss—you just can’t stop mulling it over, mentioning it in conversation, re-telling the same stories or applying it to whatever situation is happening at the time.
I think this is how we were created, to re-live and remember formative experiences. We even remember creatively: taking pictures and videos, writing in journals, painting pictures, writing songs, building memorials, celebrating holidays and birthdays—all to capture or cherish or proclaim something specific in our lives. This kind of remembrance is Biblical. In the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples celebrated the last Passover, “He took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’”(Lk. 22) Communion is a picture of the cross, a visceral reminder of what happened there. We reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and value anew our salvation—it’s a reminder to give thanks and a means of grace so that we never forget to rejoice and proclaim our most miraculous story, giving God all the glory for it.
The Psalms are full of this remembering and proclaiming. Verse after verse tell of struggling people plucked out of the ‘miry clay,’ hidden from enemies, saved, protected, healed, blessed—and the Psalmist does not stay silent! He declares what God has done so that others will know, marvel at his grace and turn to him in praise and thanksgiving.
Many of us have been through something really hard and have already seen how the Lord’s hand sheltered us through it. Don’t stay silent! Write about it, sing about it and tell everyone you know (and don’t know) so that God’s “saving power may be known on earth.” Be unembarrassed as you keep telling your story! My baby boy will be three in June, but I cannot get over the miracle that God accomplished during a frightening pregnancy, with a tiny baby who thrived. I’m not supposed to get over it. It causes me to bend heart and knees and bless the Lord. I keep telling my story to people who have already heard, but it’s always on my mind and heart and that’s the way God intended it. His people lean on Him and say, “Come and hear, […] I will tell you what he has done for my soul!”
Others are living through terrible things right at this moment and cannot yet see the end or the reasons—the reasons may never be clear in this life, but grace is always there. We can trust in the hard times because our God is unchanging. Meditate on what he has already done: it’s recorded in scripture, in the lives around you and in your own life.
All of us have a story, a stunning story of grace—a heart of stone miraculously turned to a heart of flesh, a spirit-given yearning for the love of the Father, a slave set free, a precious Lamb who gave himself up to judgment, a risen Savior, and the promise of a world redeemed. All glory to God! We have a reason to give thanks at all times and in all circumstances. Instead of despair, we can trust that the God who has been faithful will remain faithful. The one who is pursuing our souls for salvation and for His glory will never abandon us in our fear, our weakness, our sadness, sickness, brokenness, loneliness, or anger. In remembering, there is trust and grace and praise.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Amen