The week I sat down to write these meditations, a friend told me about Lauren Daigle’s album Look Up Child. I was struck by her soulful voice, profound lyrics, and storytelling ability. As I read the scriptures for this week, I kept listening to the song “Remember” on repeat.
Moses, Aaron, and Miriam are leading the Israelites on a forty-year journey to the Promised Land. The people are tired and thirsty and complaining that they need water. As the conflict unfolds, God directs Moses and the leaders to “Go on ahead of the people, and . . . take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile.”
Remember, the staff that became a snake.
Remember, the staff that turned the Nile into blood.
Remember, the staff that turned dust into a plague of gnats.
Remember, the staff that divided the sea.
In my mind’s eye, as the leaders go ahead and Moses raises the staff, the people have flashbacks to all that the Lord has already done for them. And they begin to sing Lauren Daigle’s words: “I remember, I remember/ You have always been faithful to me.”
In a dramatic moment, their memory restores their hope. As the light comes back into their eyes and they stand up straight again, Moses lifts the staff and strikes the rock, and water pours forth—another memory that they can draw on the next time they begin to falter.
This week we are challenged to remember the goodness and faithfulness of God that can sustain us at every stage of our journey.
God of the journey, prompt us to lift our eyes—even in pain—and to remember that you can make a way. Amen.
Three of the passages this week connect water and faith. In Exodus and the psalm, we read about the Israelites grumbling in the desert. Although they have seen God’s mighty deeds in Egypt, they have begun to question God’s provision for them. God provides water through Moses, but the place is remembered (and named) as a site where the faith of the people fails. In John, however, a place to draw water becomes a site of salvation for the Samaritan woman and eventually for the people in her village through her faith. The reading in Romans goes a different direction. Paul emphasizes the importance of faith in the face of trials and the fact that God brings salvation through Christ when fallen humanity has no other hope.
Read Exodus 17:1-7. How do your memories of God’s provision sustain you through tough stages of your spiritual journey?
Read Psalm 95. What object, image, or memory serves for you as a symbol of God’s faithfulness?
Read Romans 5:1-11. How have you found hope in stages of life when God is forming your character through suffering and endurance?
Read John 4:5-42. When has letting go of your expectations or rules allowed God to work freely in your life or in the lives of others around you?
Respond by posting a prayer.