Thursday, January 8, 2015

Whether twenty years old or seventy, God has helped us every step of the way

Your job and mine, as memoirists, is to serve as “a hand pointing in the direction of the past.”

But here at SM 101, we do more than that. We do more than tell stories from the past.

Here we dig deep within those stories to discover what God has done for us—stories about His constant companionship each day, each year.

The beauty of memoir is looking back, examining, and discovering significance we might have missed at the time.

So now, at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, it’s good for us to reflect on the past twelve months because too often we don’t take time to recognize that, in the words of dear old Samuel, “The Lord has helped us every step of the way” (1 Samuel 7:12, NIRV).

Back in the 1800s, C. H. Spurgeon pondered that same verse in The King James Version: “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”

He wrote:

“The word ‘hitherto’ seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet ‘hitherto hath the Lord helped us!’”

Or, in today’s language, “Whether twenty years old or seventy, ‘the Lord has helped us every step of the way.’

Spurgeon continues,

“Through poverty,
through wealth,
through sickness,
through health;
at home,
on the land,
on the sea;
in honor,
in dishonor,
in perplexity,
in joy,
in trial,
in triumph,
in prayer,
in temptation,
—‘hitherto hath the Lord helped!’”

If we invest time in looking over Spurgeon’s list in light of our own past, we’ll see that every day, in each event, even in the worst of times, God has always hovered in our midst, working out His best plans.

For now, jot down a list, make a few notes, and promise yourself—and your family, and God—you’ll write those stories in 2015!

Each story is worthy of being told.

Each child and grandchild—niece, nephew, and “spiritual child”—needs to know your stories. 

Always remember, and never forget,
what you’ve seen God do for you,
and be sure to tell your children and grandchildren!
(Deuteronomy 4:9)

reposted from December 31, 2011

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  1. As I have said many times, your posts Always inspire me Linda! You might be proud to know that after reading this, I decided to detour from my usual light-hearted or semi-serious posts on my own blog to share some thoughts on the meaning of "ordinary days" and what Jesus taught us that phrase really means. I feel that writing that blog post really helped me start my New Year with the right focus. Thanks for being my inspiration once again and hopefully helping me to inspire others!

    1. Cathy, thanks so much for your kind words, and I so appreciate your excellent insights in your blog post. You've shared good wisdom with all of us. Ordinary days are full of God-sightings if we will just notice them. Thanks for your inspiration to do so, Cathy. Blessings to you in 2015, and I look forward to keeping in touch.

  2. And as I replied to your comment on my blog, I look forward to reading more of your posts in the New Year. You have the most awesome writings that always seem to say exactly what I need to hear that day! It's like I have my own little Internet connection to heaven here. ;-)