But This I Call To Mind… Hello weekend readers. I am musing about a phrase that this past week I have heard several times, “But his I call to mind.” When I heard this phrase used by the President, then in several conversations with campers and from my mom, and then watching the Boeing debacle when the whistleblower gave his testimony, etc. I figured God wanted me to listen more intently about this phrase. And yes, it kept swirling and captivating my thoughts, thus this devotion—no surprise, right? (This is often how God pushes me to write!)

What things ‘do you call to mind’? Like many of us, it’s easy to look back at those ‘better days’, hoping those times will bring us comfort and some peace. Or when we bring back to mind some of the crazy stuff we did and it brings us laughter plus “how did we do that and not get hurt?” The more I thought of this phrase, the more I had to go into scripture and I found it—in Jeremiah!

Jeremiah had a tough task. With Jerusalem under siege, his nation under duress and his world collapsing like a sand castle in a typhoon, it’s no wonder he was depressed, as gloomy as a giraffe with a neck-ache. Then he decides to fault God for his horrible emotional distress, blaming God for his physical ailments! Upset beyond measure, his words from Lamentation 3:4-6 [MSG] tell us his plight:

“He turned me into a skeleton of skin and bones, then broke the bones. He hemmed me in, ganged up on me, poured on the trouble and hard times. He locked me up in deep darkness, like a corpse nailed inside a coffin.” 

It’s obvious that what Jeremiah was going through was not only hard, but hard on his faith as well. Have you ever been there—when you are just at your wits end and your whole body, soul, heart and mind are tanking into muck? Well, the next thing Jeremiah did to get ‘out of that muck’ was the phrase I was musing on! In Lamentation 3:21-24 [RSV], he shifted his gaze, saying:

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.”

Ah, depressed as he was, he altered his thoughts, shifted his attention and he turned his eyes away from his stormy world and looked into the wonder of God. Then he quickly recited a quintet of promises that you and I can take to heart at any time:

  1. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
  2. His mercies never come to an end.
  3. They are new every morning.
  4. Great is thy faithfulness.
  5. The Lord is my portion.

You may ask, did his stormy troubles end, no, not at all! Yet, Jeremiah was determined to stay the course and hang on to the steadfast love of God. And, even if the storm didn’t cease, his discouragement did! He reminded himself that he had the faithfulness of God coursing through his veins every single day, giving him joy in this hardship, mercy for himself and others, and the constant reminder that the Lord will always be his portion no matter where he is and what he is doing.

In closing, think about things that ‘you bring to mind’. Did it give you encouragement, boost your attitude and at least calm your fears and troubles? That is what God is here for. Like Jeremiah’s words “he hemmed me in and even locked me up in darkness” it was God taking care of him until he could settle down in his mind he didn’t realize that. Once he did, those 5 promises changed his life and it can change our lives, too. So always remember that great is the steadfast love of our Lord, AMEN!