In reading through Nehemiah, I discovered this: After the people hear the law read to them by Ezra and realize they have been sinning, and repent, and celebrate the feast of booths (for the first time since Joshua was alive), they recount their entire story up until then. (This is Nehemiah 9.) Or, should I say, they recount God’s story. They start with creation, move on through Abraham, the Exodus, the wilderness, the promised land, the time of the judges, the exile, and to their current state as slaves in their own hometown. And in all of it they weave in the thread of God’s faithfulness, mercy, and love.
You could excuse this by referring to tradition and ritual. Jewish culture was an oral culture, so of course they passed on the history of their people by recounting it at important times. But I can’t help remembering all the other times that the entire story of the Israelites is remembered again, the psalms that are devoted to that story. And it’s never just their story, it always has the the theme of God’s great involvement and help – “His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136).
And I can’t help thinking that our lives would be so much more blessed if we were to recount often, to others, to ourselves, our story, and how God has led us. If we constantly remind ourselves of where we have come from and the way God has led us so faithfully, we can’t help but immerse ourselves in his grace and focus on that as we go through each day.