During the early, dark days of our daughter Perrin’s cancer, Weezie and I did everything we could possibly do to lift our heads emotionally and spiritually. The strain and stress pounded us daily as we clung onto each other and to God. Weezie came upon this verse in Eugene Peterson’s vivid translation of Psalm 42, “When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know about You.” (Ps 42:6, The Message)
That image crystallized the essence of our daily challenge. Each morning we would “rehearse the goodness of God” so that we might equip ourselves with strength for the day. We knew in the depths of our soul that God is good, but the screams and taunts of constant doctor’s visits and endless treatments tempted us to give in to hopelessness and bitterness toward God. Our early morning “rehearsals” strengthened us to stand firm. By the end of many days, we were depleted, and so we would return the next morning and rehearse again that God is good, and God will never leave us. This practice became our refuge in the storm of cancer.
This image of “rehearsing the goodness of God” stays with me to this day. In a frenetic, hyped-up, breathless day-to-day existence, rehearsing the goodness of God becomes an anchor. It counters the cultural currents which test our faith and the negative voices that call us fools for believing. Rehearsing entails memorizing, repeating, and visualizing. When we memorize what we know to be true, repeat it throughout the day, and visualize living into that truth, we change from the inside out.
One way we can rehearse the goodness of God is to consider making a “This I know to be true” list. We fill this list with reminders of what we know to be true but often forget in the fray of the day. Here are a few of my reminders that I rehearse:
This, I know to be true:
- God is in control and is on my side.
- God loves those I love even more than I do.
- God will never leave me, even for a moment.
- God walks ahead of me into the trials of my day.
- God knows me and loves me passionately.
- God wants the very best for me.
- All things work together for good for those who love God.
- I will spend eternity in joy with God.
What would your “This I know to be true” list look like? What simple truths do you rehearse and wear and remind yourself through hard days? Consider taking a few moments and writing out your list. Then, post it somewhere prominently. Let it become your anchor in good days when the skies are clear and in dark days when the sun is hidden, and clouds envelop you. Rehearse the goodness of our amazing God!