“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2)
Eugene Peterson, writing about this verse says “Forgetfulness atrophies [wastes away] the muscles of praise and leaves them flabby and passive.” Forgetfulness, for the Christian, is similar to me not lacing up my running shoes. The effects may not be seen straight away, but the inevitable creep of flabbiness and lethargy will eventually become evident!
Forgetfulness, here in this verse, is not so much overlooking the general existence of God, but rather, forgetting about his intimate care and involvement in the nooks and crannies of our lives (“all his benefits”). The forgetfulness this verse speaks about is the relational drift that leads marriages towards the rocks and friendships becoming distant memories. Forgetting in this Psalm, in many ways, is choosing to live our lives as if God has nipped off to the local Starbucks and left us to ‘get on with it’.
If, on reading this blog, you are (so to speak), reaching for your spiritual girth and giving it a good squeeze to see if you’ve gained any flabbiness, what can you do? I want to suggest that a good place to start is prayer. Here’s a prayer you can pray:
Would you forgive my spiritual forgetfulness and save me from gaining any more spiritual flabbiness.
I need a “Couch (potato) to 5k Programme” for remembering your goodness, mercies and intimate involvement in the everyday aspects of my life. I need a heart change to see your fatherly care at work in even the most mundane aspects of my life. Would you change me?
Let me see, savour and sing about your goodness and kindness in peanut butter sandwiches, pressed shirts and powered hairdryers.
Let me see, savour and sing about your goodness and kindness in Zoom Calls with friends, phone calls with family and the odd cuppa with the neighbour down the street.
Let me see, savour and sing about your goodness and kindness in words of encouragement from Ecclesiastes and blushing-induced promises from the Song of Songs and hope-inducing visions from Revelation.
Let me see, savour and sing about your goodness and kindness in bread that needs breaking and wine that need blessing and the death and resurrection of Jesus that is forever to be remembered.
This prayer was first published on our church website here