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Recounting The Years
by pamela spurling

Sweet sisters… my heart is to encourage you today with some thoughts that have encouraged me and with some fresh bread of the Word.

When we read the Word, we’re reading the accounts of God’s Hand weaving His story from the beginning of the world, His marvelous plan, provision and presentation of our Saviour, His works and His workings from creation to Christ and of His Second Coming. We see in His Word, the Book of Remembrance, accounts of His ways with men… stubborn and rebellious men, faithful and obedient men, wise and reverent men and foolish men---men who have feared the LORD and men who have done that which is evil in the sight of the LORD. We read in Malachi that a book of remembrance was written before the LORD for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His Name.

Recounting the years… that’s what I want to share with you today.

Recently, I was looking through an account I have of different ways the LORD has worked in my life---in our family—in my husband’s life. I saw patterns and I saw seeming inconsistencies---victories and failures. It grieved me to see woven throughout the years my tendencies to doubt the LORD, my failure to promptly obey and my inconsistencies in my walk. I saw over and over again ways the LORD redeemed and restored the years the locusts had eaten, I saw numerous accounts of His “going before me” to accomplish His purposes---ways I could never have planned, ways I could never have foreseen. O, how I praise the LORD for His “going before me” and for His ways.

You know, that’s why I write on my windows “All God’s Ways are Good.” I know that no matter the present circumstances, no matter the appearance, no matter what others do, no matter how great or how small, that God shall supply all my need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus. My need. My need---not my want, not my preference, not my desire, not my gluttony nor my selfish ambition. My need. O, would that all my desires were His, all my preferences were His, all my ambitions were His! O, that I would not be selfish, gluttonous, wasteful, fearful, prideful, neglectful! O, would that my thoughts were His thoughts. Even knowing that His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts than my thoughts, I still pray---still earnestly desire to have my longings be only what He would will them to be---only His purposes and none of my own.

When I take the time to recount the years, it refreshes my understanding of His workings in my life---in our family. It refreshes also my faith in His Word, in His ways. You know… it’s sure sobering to think that even if He hadn’t worked in the ways He has in our life---He’d still be God and He’d still be enough. Isn’t that something!?!? He’s enough. He’s all; and He’s enough.

It was at the prompting of my friend that I get back to daily memorizing Scripture that I cam e upon that word remembrance. That then prompted me to write down each year of our marriage with a space of a couple of lines between each date entry. Then I began to recount works of the LORD as they came to mind for each of the different years. I’d forgotten so many of the things that came to mind that morning. I’d forgotten some of the important events that I once thought were the best of times or the worst of times. I recalled times of bitterness, times of fear and doubt, times of great blessing and joy. Each of the eleven births, the wedding, the grandson, the losses, the moves, the accidents, the provisions in times of need.

You know, there’s so much more to be written… there are probably volumes that could be/should be written on ways the LORD has used people to encourage, teach, provide---benefit my life and the lives of my husband and children. It’s the same case with you---there are likely volumes that could be written---ways the LORD has provided for you, ways He’s literally demonstrated His compassion and lovingkindness to you, ways He’s gone before you---things you never could have asked or imagined: He’s made available to you or has provided for you. Things that at the time you may have misunderstood or even completely overlooked just as I have done so many times.

Yet… even in the face of all He’s done, just as the children of Israel, while the meat is yet in our mouths we might murmur and complain (or be tempted to); we doubt the very God of the Universe: that He is able, nay, more than able to provide, control, comfort and direct us. We think when we’ve come to a so called wilderness of our lives that the LORD has forgotten us. What’s worse, we then suppose that we’d have been better off to stay where we were… or even when we have heavenly provision, as the children of Israel had bread from heaven provided for them, we wonder: where’s the LORD? ---just as they wondered if the LORD was among them or not!

We read in Exodus 16.12 and following, that the LORD did hear the murmurings of the children of Israel and He had provided for them… in almost a humorous way, He provided so much meat for them that it covered the ground… and later, in the morning, the ground was covered again: with manna, the bread that the LORD had given them to eat. Unworthy, without effort, with no prerequisite, the LORD provided their need---nothing lacking. Now, the stipulation was that they were to eat what the LORD provided and when they didn’t obey, the bread was spoiled. They had what the LORD said they would have. They needed to obey Him. This account is recorded for our instruction… in the Book of Remembrance, as it were, so that we could see the Hand of the LORD and share it with our children so that they, even as we are, could be rooted and grounded in the Word, built up in the Faith.

Maybe sometime soon, if you haven’t already, you can begin your own book of remembrance where you can recount the years… the ways of the LORD in your life. Put it in a place you can refer to again and again---a place you can share with your husband and children. It will bless you indeed to see His hand and the ways in which He’s worked on your behalf… and perhaps if you’re traveling through a valley just now, you’ll see there’s a Light in the valley. You know He will never leave you, nor forsake you---He’s all and He’s enough.

Until next time, may the LORD be the joy and rejoicing of your heart. many blessings,

         `·.¸.·´pamela spurling
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