A Testimony of the Past

Why is it that negative things are so much easier to remember than positive ones?  I can't remember when my husband complimented me on Sunday, but I can remember three years ago when he looked at me cross-eyed and hurt my feelings.  I can't remember the multitude of e-mails I receive telling me how much my ministry has been an encouragement, but I can remember every word of rejection letters or notes of complaint.  I can't remember the times I chose a piece of fruit over a piece of chocolate cake (I'm pretty sure there have been a few), but I can remember every time I gave in to the temptation to satisfy my desires.  It's like my memory is made of Swiss cheese, but only the positive things are falling through the holes.

We often do the same thing with the Lord, don't we?  In the here and now of our troubles or trials, we remember all the trials we've already endured.  We think back over the past few days, weeks, months and even years and say, "Here we go again."  I don't know about you, but I often find myself pleading toward Heaven and crying, "Stop the ride!  I want to get off!"  Yet, even during these difficult times, my heart has a song.  Unfortunately, it's not a song anyone wants to hear.  "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen; Nobody knows my sorrow."  Boohoo!  Sniff!

If anyone can relate, I know it would be David.  You know, the shepherd boy who killed Goliath and was promised a kingdom.  Only things didn't work out the way David had envisioned them.  He found himself in a cave instead of a palace.  He had to flee before he could rule.  Yes, he certainly had some down days, and if you don't believe me, read through some of the Psalms that he penned.  Talk about a pity party!  But the thing I love about the Psalms is how David's weeping is always turned to joy, his mourning into dancing.  You may be wondering how it's possible to have such a change of heart within just a few verses.  David answers that question in Psalm 40.

 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (vs. 1-3)

Do you see what's happening here?  David is going back through his mental journal and seeing how God had come through for him in the past.  He is forcing himself to remember the good, not just the bad.  Pastor David Jeremiah puts it this way:  "When anxiety for the future built up--and it did time and again--David faced it with the testimony of the past."  What a beautiful thought--the testimony of the past!

No matter what we're facing today, God can handle it.  Let's make it our duty (and delight) to focus on His previous track record.  Sure, we've had problems before, but He fixed them, didn't He?  Sure, we've had rough roads, but He made sure we arrived at our destination, right?  Sure, we've encountered our fair share of storms, but He's always been there to calm the seas at the right time.  He's always come through for us.  We can trust Him for today because He was faithful yesterday.  Let's face today (and each day to come) with a testimony of the past.  David did, and he discovered a new song.

Now that's something worth celebrating!  Chocolate cake, anyone?

*****Excerpt from Daily Discussions of a Doubting Disciple*****