Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reframing Our Thoughts and Memories against the Backdrop of God and His Attributes

“My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you” (Psalm 42:5).

Although not an art expert, I do enjoy looking at lovely photos and paintings.  Sometimes the frame itself enhances the picture greatly.  The backdrop can add or detract from it as well.  How many of us have taken pictures only to discover that something unattractive was hiding in the background and ruining the scene? I’ve also seen pictures that were unremarkable in one frame but became quite eye-catching in another.

In her Bible study Believing God, Beth Moore said that David and Jeremiah, among others, “deliberately refocused and reframed the difficult memories in the goodness and faithfulness of God.”  As I read that, I thought of difficult times in my own life, particularly those related to my health.  If I dwell on them in a negative way, I become downcast - wishing things were different, wishing I had appreciated more, struggling with the “whys” and “what if’s”, etc.

I can, however, choose to see God in the background of each memory.  As I reflect back, I see how God’s strength has continually carried me through my most difficult moments.  I realize how the Lord used and continues to use other people in my life to display His mercy, compassion, and even admonishment when I need it.  I remember the wisdom and direction He gave for difficult decisions, and how He brought peace through the beauty of nature and creation which I had never noticed before.

The more I look for God in the pictures of my life, the more I see His hand at work in all things.  Some of my pictures are rather bleak, but set against the backdrop and frame of God and His attributes, they are given a new and brighter look.  My life has not been not perfect, but it is filled with the presence of God, and that changes the entire picture.

Prayer:  Lord, when I struggle with negative thoughts and discouraging memories, help me look for signs of Your presence in them, causing me to remember You in my past, see You in my present, and trust You for my future.  As I do, I will be uplifted and encouraged.  Amen.



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