I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. (Ps 77:12)
Someone once said ‘Sometimes I sits and thinks ……. and sometimes I just sits’. Maybe it was just a cartoon character, but I think it might have been my grandfather, or some other one of my ancestors, because sometimes I like to sit and think, and sometimes I like to ‘just sit’. Muriel will always have a dozen or more things going on in her mind – people she’s thinking about, jobs she has to do, new ideas in the kitchen, things I could be doing ……. Sometimes when we’re driving, and it’s been quiet for a while, she will ask ‘what are you thinking about?’ and I’ll reply ‘That car up ahead’, or ‘why we have to keep down to 50mph here’, or just ‘nothing much’. In the midst of a busy trip, or a busy week, I can find myself ‘just sitting’. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing; the Sabbath principle may apply here, for God certainly wants us to build regular times of rest into our lives. And often it’s when you ‘just sit’ that God’s peace invades your heart, or you catch His voice whispering something about the next step in your journey.
When the Psalmist wrote those words in Psalm 77, perhaps he had reached a point where he just needed to switch off and take a break. The Psalm is all about crying out to God for help in times of distress, stretching out his hands in prayer through the comfortless night. He speaks of prolonged sleeplessness, of ‘groaning’ to God, of feeling ‘too troubled to speak’. Things have become so bad in his life that he even wonders if God has ‘forgotten to be merciful’, if His unfailing love has vanished forever, if He has in anger withheld his compassion.
In the end he decides his best option is to keep quiet and reflect on the goodness of God as shown in the past. ‘I will remember …. I will meditate …. and consider’. And this leads to the inevitable conclusion that God is holy, God is great, God is powerful; and all that God has done for His people proves once again that He really is a Good Shepherd, leading, protecting and providing for his people like a flock.
Perhaps you’ve never felt the depths of distress expressed in this Psalm (or perhaps you have). But perhaps at times of difficulty and uncertainty you too have cried out to God, and then spent time reflecting on all that He has done for you in the past. ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one’, as the old song says. There is power in meditating on God’s indisputable love and care, as expressed in so many ways throughout our lives.
Take time today to sit and think – or even just to sit.