Psalm 107 begins with: “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” (Psalm 107:2). In this Psalm, stories of the redeemed are told: Vignettes of people in the struggles of life, brought on by circumstances, other people, or themselves. First a wandering, homeless people, by no fault of their own, later a people bound in darkness, chained by their own rebellion and the choosing of their own plans over God’s plans. And at the end of each situation, there is a cry, a response, and a reminder. The cry repeated over and over again: “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble.” The response repeated over and over: “… and he saved them from their distress.” The reminder over and over: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
It doesn’t always appear that He is doing “wonderful deeds” for us and sometimes I can’t see His “unfailing love.” And I struggle with both. I’ve doubted God’s existence as well as His love and goodness. Other times, with razor-sharp vision I see His love flying at me from all directions and it’s overwhelming and fills me with joy and gratitude. It’s as if I can’t figure out why I couldn’t see the love before. Could it be that part of Christianity, this thing we call following Jesus Christ, is the healing of a blindness? In the severance of the relationship with God that we were created for, we lost our vision, our concept of love and our capacity for it. We don’t need to be good or successful to earn love – we need our blindness to be healed, we need Jesus to make us alive. We don’t know how to recognize, much less accept, real love when we see it. Could it be that Christianity is the recovering of a sight that allows us to see an entirely different reality, a previously incomprehensible relationship? The more my eyes are healed and my vision restored, the more I see and feel Jesus’ unfailing love, and for that I (along with Psalm 107) give thanks!
I have plenty of my own stories of God’s unfailing love – I see His love in deeply personal acts that are specific to me and my life circumstances. Recently I feel as though I see them with a vision that is clearer than ever before. I detect love in the gifts of things given as well as things taken away. I see His love as He bends into my sphere of existence and whispers in ways that my unique heart understands: “I am taking care of your soul.” I don’t just know that he cares, I feel the care, because God is personal. And this is in addition to the definitive moment in history when God came as Jesus to earth to create a way for us to be healed and made whole by grace, apart from any works or merit of our own. This unfailing love is changing me. God is just giving it to me because He delights in me, and that is changing me.
Psalm 107 began by telling us to tell our stories of redemption, our stories of recovered sight and of healed souls that are brought back into relationship with their Maker. The Psalm ends with an encouragement: “Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.” So let us tell the stories of struggle and crying out, of the God who saves through his unfailing love. Tell those stories to each other and to yourself, then ponder them. When dark days come and we cannot feel His care and love, do not let your heart forget. Behold how He loves you. Be wise and think about – wrap your heart around – the great and steadfast love of God. Ask him for healed eyes to see it.
“Now I am hidden
In the safety of your love
I trust your heart and your intentions
You are my vision
My reason for living
Your kindness leads me to repentance
I can’t explain it
This sweet assurance
But I’ve never known this kind of friend
I want to seek you first
I want to love you more
I want to give you the honor you deserve
So I bow before you
I am overcome by the beauty of this perfect love.”