Journal Entry ~ 11/14/17

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.  - Psalm 107:43

As we spend our last few days in Psalm 107, we are find two important instructions in the last verse. “Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things.”  If our desire is to be wise, we are call to remember and meditate on all that we have learned in this Psalm. 

We are a stubborn and stiff necked people, simple-minded and foolish. We’re often close-minded and judgmental and many of us have our priorities mixed up. We let our anxieties or emotions rule our decision-making, and we often lack the ability to see past our momentary comforts when problem-solving. We are not a wise people. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;  - Psalm 19:7. 

A simple mind is easily led astray or swayed by what stands in front of it. It responds to momentary whims, and places it’s hope in temporary happiness. A simple mind wants what will bring delight in the moment, and is challenged to think past the desire. Having grandchildren running around my house reminds me of what a simple mind looks like. When my granddaughter wants a cookie, that’s all she can see in the moment. She asks, then demands, a cookie because she can’t see past her desire. She has no ability to comprehend the poor wisdom in eating a cookie before her dinner, all she wants is a cookie. The beauty of a simple mind is that she is easily distracted. I can lure her away from the thought of a cookie with a toy, though, because a simple mind responds to the emotions in the moment. 

We chuckle at the simple mindedness of an 18 month old, but we really do the same thing when our emotions are in full swing, don’t we?  We can be moving along in life just fine, then the emotions of a trial will overwhelm us and suddenly we can see past our fear, our hurt, our anger, or our grief. In a moment, we forget all that we’ve leaned and our responses are dictated by our emotions. A simple mind is easily led astray from God’s Word, and responds to the worldly advice given in those moments of emotion. 

On the other hand, a wise mind has discernment in the moment to see the broader picture and embraces Godly wisdom. A wise person understands that God allows both prosperity and adversity into our lives to refine our characters, and He intends all of it for the good of those who loves Him. A wise mind knows God loves us with a steadfast love, it is humbled by the grace and mercy He bestows on us daily, and it is confident in His promises. When God’s wisdom pours into our lives, it becomes evident in our comments, insights, and understanding.

One of the great enemies of hope and wisdom is forgetting God’s promises. We are to instructed in this verse to remember the goodness of God’s faithfulness when we feel the weight of the world upon us. We so easily forget His truth and fix our eyes on the things in front of us in the daily grind of life. If we are going to have hope in this broken world, then we need to call to mind that God's steadfast love for us is unconditional, His mercies and His grace are never ending, His promises are true, His forgiveness is complete, His sovereignty is over all, and His plan is good.  

The mind has great power to remember what God has said about Himself and about us. If we don't, we suffer. Too many people sell that great power short, claiming they can't. So many people in this world are trapped in the thinking of their weak minds, they suffer the defeat from giving in to spiraling thoughts, they cry from the pit of despair, "you don't know what it's like to suffer with this!"  But God knows. And He tells us how to get out of that pit - by remembering the truths of our Lord. Over and over He reminds us of this in scripture because He knows our heart so well - He knows our tendency is to forget. Without reminding ourselves of the greatness and grace and power and wisdom of God, we sink into despair, bitterness, and defeat. 

Not only do we need to remind ourselves, but we need to remind others as well.  Have you ever noticed how powerful God's presence is during a testimony?  It's because we are calling to mind the the goodness of God in those moments. We are told to share our stories - over and over again. It's why He calls us to community - so we can remember the goodness of the Lord together, reminding one another that He is at work and His promises are true. Our minds alone can be weak at times - we all trip and fall into that pit, we need others to shout the stories of God at work in our lives down into the pit so that His light can shine and we can see our way out.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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