Recently I read a commentary on Psalm 103. The article reminded me of one of my anniversary trips and the magnitude of God’s provision for the cost of the vacation. The commentator focused on Psalm 103: 1 – 2, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” The author, Abie Kulynych, wrote that to “forget not” is to keep something front and foremost in your mind and hearts. He writes, “What would your thanksgiving sound like if you started at the beginning and worked your way back to today?”
As I read those words, I reflected on the time when my husband and I could pay for our 17-day anniversary trip to Alaska even though he had been unemployed for over two years. I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me to share the details of God’s generosity with our grown children. While they knew of our extended trip to Alaska and that their father had been unemployed, I wanted them to ponder how astounding it was that God provided for us to take the anniversary trip. As I began to share, I also included other instances of God’s financial blessings which occurred before they were born or when they were too small to remember.
Three lengthy psalms follow Psalm 103; they deal with the need to recall God’s faithfulness and the problems that occur when we fail to remember. In Psalm 104, he first recounts how God met all our needs by creating the world in an orderly fashion. In Psalm 105, David provides a long list of how God led and blessed Israel. In Psalm 106, he looks at Israel’s failure to remember God’s blessings and provision for them. The Israelites became dissatisfied and, at some points, even desired to return to their life of slavery in Egypt because they did not follow God’s command to remember and memorialize the miracles He performed for them.
God dwelt with Israel, yet they took their attention off Him and put it on their problems. God abides with us, yet we are just as prone to focus on our lack and our issues rather than on the abundance God provides for us. It is essential for us to “forget not all his benefits.” Start at the beginning and ask God to bring to mind all the ways He has provided for you and your family. I intend to create a written record for my children and grandchildren. Here are a few entries to get me started:
- When I was applying to graduate schools, the school of my choice accepted me but did not offer me any financial assistance. One of my undergrad professors called the school and convinced them that I was deserving of a scholarship. Not only did I receive an excellent scholarship, but the school also waived my out-of-state tuition for my entire graduate school program.
- No apartments were available when we applied to live in married student housing. God made one available just two months into our first semester. The rent was half of our previous rent, and utilities were included.
- When we purchased our first home, the interest on a fixed-rate mortgage was 13%. We asked God for wisdom, leading us to accept a variable-rate mortgage at 8%. The following year, interest rates fell dramatically, and our mortgage payments dropped by $200 a month. We lived in the house for ten years, and our mortgage payments never reached their original level. We saved many thousands of dollars by not getting a fixed-rate mortgage.
God has likely moved in your life in similar ways. You can ask Him to help you bring these incidents to mind and record them. When needs arise, read your list and meditate on God’s faithfulness. This practice places your heart in a position to ask God to meet your current needs. It will also create a spirit of thankfulness in your heart.
My new novel, Letters to Mother from College, recounts God’s faithfulness in bringing my parents together and helping my mother to learn to follow God’s plan for her life. If you have never considered that God loves you and created you for a purpose, you may not have experienced the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior and having your sins forgiven. Please click on Basics of Salvation in the tool bar above to learn how you can invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.