In the course of my now more than half century of life, one of the things I’ve noticed is the difficulty I sometimes experience in bringing to mind how God took care of me in past crises—especially when I’m in the middle of a new one. I believe that part of the reason for that has been my failure to rehearse the past events. Time erodes memories, both good and bad. I find that if I can force myself to relate in my head the positive things God has done, to think about past problems and how they turned out, that it helps a lot in any current problem. Then I reread the first half of Psalm 77, which reflects that sort of experience and approach:
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:1-12)