Recognizing God; September 2, 2022

Psalm 68:19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.

Several parts of this Psalm have been set to music, but as famous as this verse is, I don’t off hand know a musical setting for it. However, it is memorable nonetheless. We tend to think of God sporadically, on special occasions of one sort or another. However, as this verse says, God is at work on our behalf all the time. There is a poem I have seen many times in a frame, superimposed on a picture of footprints on a sandy beach, that talks about God carrying us through the roughest parts of our lives, but our not recognizing it. That poem is popular because it is so true to experience. Sometimes we feel God’s presence and sometimes we don’t, but that isn’t because He has changed. As God famously said through one of the Levites, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) We often have great difficulty getting quiet enough to recognize His presence. Even so, He daily bears our burdens, even as it says here. Too often we demand feelings, emotions, before we will acknowledge God, not realizing that very demand is what is hiding Him from us. We need to have faith that He is indeed there, caring for us, tending to us, guiding us into His good plan, whatever it might feel like in the moment.

This is a big one, and it’s an area where I’m still growing. I am aware of God probably a good bit more than the average person, but that doesn’t mean I’m sufficiently aware of Him. Part of that is that my physical being can only tolerate so much of Him, but a bigger part is that I am self-centered and easily distracted. I have seen the hell on earth that some people generate from being so self-centered, but I don’t avoid it completely myself. I too need to do better at being still and knowing that He is God. The better I recognize Him, the better I will recognize the countless things He does for me, and the more grateful I will be. And of course, gratitude is the key to happiness. Being self-centered leads to feelings of entitlement and victimhood, and that’s the opposite of happiness.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I am indeed surrounded by countless examples of Your grace toward me. Help me recognize them and give You the thanks and praise You deserve, for my blessing and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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