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The WOW Moments

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In Psalm 77, Asaph is going through a low patch and dealing with stress and disappointment. He is troubled and can’t sleep. He had been the music director who arranged musical scores to the Psalms of David and had been there at the building of David’s kingdom, and at its highest point. His role had continued through the leadership of Solomon, and the start of the unraveling of the nation. Then he held that position when the nation was divided into the northern and southern kingdoms under two different kings. Things hadn’t worked out the way he had expected. It’s no wonder that he spent some time reflecting on the ups and downs he had experienced.

In Psalm 77:1-9 Asaph writes:

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: ‘Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favour again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?

What turns Asaph around? He begins to remember what the Lord has done. He takes his focus off the issues before him and reminds himself of what God had done and who God is. He reminds himself that God is good, that He is powerful, that He has done mighty deeds. Asaph goes on to write, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.”

We all have moments when we are disappointed and disillusioned. This isn’t due to a lack of faith, but sometimes we just can’t see what God is doing (or God is not doing what we would like him to do). Sometimes stuff goes on around us and we can’t see or hear God in that situation. Many Bible stories describe people who make exactly that kind of journey and experience the tough times. Even Jesus struggles in the garden of Gethsemane.

What do we do at these times? We need to acknowledge that God is our Father, and wants the best for his children, but He is not like a “fairy godmother” that magically removes all obstacles that come into our path.

We need to remind ourselves of those incredible WOW moments when we see God’s hand at work.

This can be in God’s faithfulness to us in our past. Or in how He answered prayers that we spoke. Or in the evidence of the miraculous that we may have witnessed. Or by reminding ourselves of the amazing promises in His Word. Or when we witnessed His power and artistry in a sunrise or sunset. In Psalm 7, David writes “You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour.”

If we learn to look up at the macro picture, the skies give us a sense of awe and wonder at what God has made. When we look down at the intricate detail of living things we see an intelligent design that blows our minds – if we have eyes to see.

I recall when one of my sons was born at King Edward Hospital, the moment arrived when he was about to be born. I heard in the background the word being passed, and several running steps. Three faces appeared at the side of a curtain. These were three midwives who wanted to be there at the very moment of birth. I looked at their faces, which glowed with excitement. Now I guess they must have seen hundreds of births this way, perhaps more. They were delighted that everything had gone normally. But it was more than this. It occurred to me that they were addicted to this moment because they were witnessing God’s miracle right before their eyes. The shame was that they probably didn’t even realise it was the Creator’s design. They stayed for a few moments while our son was born, congratulated us, and left.

When we think about it, life has lots of WOW moments – if we have eyes to see them. There are lots of things to be thankful for, but we need to remember that we are not God, and He does not do the things that we would plan and do. Often we try to understand God that way, and it doesn’t work because His ways are not like our ways. Let us celebrate the WOW moments, and not beat ourselves up when we think we’re not worthy or that we lack faith. God thinks we are so worthy that He sent Jesus to die for us!

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