We’re constantly being lied to about the goodness and faithfulness of God. How easily we forget how graciously He takes care of us, protects us, and rescues us time and again. Remembering specific things He’s done for us, all His benefits, helps maintain spiritual equilibrium and encourages a life of thanksgiving.
JEHOVAH’s benefits include things like forgiving our iniquities, healing our diseases, redeeming our lives from destruction, crowning us with loving kindness and tender mercies, and satisfying our taste buds with delicious nourishment to renew our strength. (Ps 103:2-5) Reminding ourselves, and recounting these blessings to others, is part of how we encourage each other in our walk with God.
For example, a few weeks back, my wife and I had just closed on a house and we only had one house key. While she ran some errands, I went for a run on the beach, planning to return before she did and open the house for all the folks planning to deliver appliances, get final repairs done, etc. I put the key safely in the pocket of my gym shorts and headed off.
When I arrived at the beach, noticing only a handful of people as far as I could see in either direction, I stretched out as usual on the sand and began my run, thanking God for the cool sunshine, running through the waves and meditating on scripture … it’s one of my favorite things to do.
At a good half-way mark, as I turned to head back, I realized the house key was no longer in my pocket! Somewhere in the last 1.5 miles, over the last quarter of an hour, it had fallen out, lost in the sand and/or the water!
I immediately began thinking what a total inconvenience this was going to be for everyone, particularly my wife, who’d arranged for all of these people to come over and get us set up in our new home! We’d need to call a locksmith and have him bust out the front door lock, reschedule all these appointments, and be without a refrigerator for who knows how much longer! The closing had already put each of us into some stress … and this was just flat out careless on my part! Needless! It would surely mar our joyful memories, especially hers, in finding and securing our “forever home” together.
Praying wasn’t an option — supplication poured out of me as instinctive as breath, begging God for mercy to help me find this tiny little key lost in thousands yards of sand and waves … I wasn’t hopeful. My dread was palpable.
I began thinking it might have fallen out when I was stretching, lying down on my back in the sand, and that was at least a couple of times during this particular run. Could I find those places based on the marks I’d left with my back on the beach? It was a bleak option, but it was my only hope, other than retracing my steps and examining the entire shoreline. That could take hours; I didn’t have that kind of time!
After hunting up and down a while, I finally found the last place I’d last stretched out and started searching carefully. Thankfully, there were so few people out the scene was just as I’d left it, far enough up on land to be undisturbed by the waves … but no key here, best I could tell. I could keep looking trying to find it here or move on and hope it was back toward at the start of my run. I kept on running and praying, eyeing my earlier footprints and scanning the sand, returning back to where I’d started out.
I got back to the area where I’d began my run, searched around a bit, and found a place where it looked like I’d stretched out, and then I recalled it was a couple of different locations, as I’d been hunting for a suitable spot I had tried at least three different places. First one place, then the other, scanning the sand carefully and trying not to disturb anything. The dreadful feeling of helplessness and doom looming over me.
Then I saw it! WOW!! Silver, shining, lying on the sand undisturbed, right where I’d been stretching, the first place I’d laid down. How happy and thankful I was to see that little key I cannot say! Whether it was a real supernatural miracle or not really isn’t the point for me; it sure felt like one, another precious token of God’s merciful hand in my life, caring for me and redeeming my life from destruction, chaos, and pain, which I fully deserved. Should have been more careful with that key!!
“It is of JEHOVAH’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness!” (La 3:22)