God alone has the power to turn our troubles into triumph. Through the prophet Hosea, God promises His people, “I will transform the Valley of Trouble into an open door of hope!” (Hosea 2: 15). Every mistake of our past is but the prelude of a miracle waiting to be seen and heard. Failure is the back door to success. Messes become miracles as we turn our hearts from the past to walk through the inviting, open door of hope.
Yes, you will sing again.
We need to remember the goodness that has been. We need to remember who God is and who we are to Him. We need to remember His promises. His promises help us to step forward with hope.
In C. S. Lewis’s book The Silver Chair, Aslan the Great Lion sends two children on a quest. To help them on their extremely dangerous journey, Aslan gives one of the children, Jill, four signs to follow and remember. She is to share them. Recite them. Speak them aloud. Remind herself of them before she goes to sleep and go over them when she first wakes. And most importantly, she is to follow them, for they are essential if she and her companions are to fulfill their quest and return triumphant. If she forgets them, it may cost them their very lives, let alone their victory. I told you their journey was dangerous.
So is yours.
We must remember the signs. The signs God has given us to guide us on our journey are vital. They come to us in the longing that rises up from seeing Christmas twinkle lights and feeling the wind that flows down from the mountains, beckoning us to climb. They are in the beauty of the song and the melody that echoes within you that you don’t understand. They are the stories you love, the art that moves you, the music that stirs you, the playgrounds you escaped to, the smell of fresh baking bread that allures you, and the embrace from someone who feels safe.
They come to us in the promises of the Scriptures, and they continue to come to us every moment of our lives. They help us take hold of hope, beauty, and life and keep us moving forward no matter how difficult things may get.
This admonition flows throughout Scripture. Deuteronomy 8: 18 tells us to “remember the LORD your God.” 1 Chronicles 16: 12 says to “remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.”
The wilderness of the Red Sea—where miracles are born. The Red Sea is literally in Hebrew, “the Sea of Reeds.” This was not simply a place of red water,* for the Hebrew word for the Sea of Reeds is suf. However, suf has a dual meaning. It can mean “reeds,” but the root meaning is actually “to come to an end, to cease, to be destroyed.” This is the place where all our past life comes to an end, washed in that water and removed from us forever. It wasn’t only our enemies that drowned at the Red Sea. This wilderness of the Red Sea also points us to our union with Christ, which makes us one with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. The past is gone, for we died with Christ and now can move forward with Him into a life of supernatural power and miracles. This wilderness has been designed by God that we might gain a new faith in His power and be delivered from our impossible situations.
If we forget—no, when we forget—who God is, what He has done, and who we are in Him and to Him, we put ourselves in great peril. We cannot live well nor arrive at the end of our journey triumphant unless we remember.
Additional reading: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/we-complain-because-we-forget
“Faith’s most severe tests come not when we see nothing, but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith in vain.” from Elisabeth Elliot — Inspiration for Daring Daughters
Beloved, He did not lead you to the wilderness so that you would die there: I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work of grace in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will complete it at the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ! (Philippians 1: 6)