Certainly it is important for the psalmist to work through the kinds of remembering and questioning that he does in the first part of this psalm. The psalmist of Psalm 42 has to do that as well. They spoke out their troubles, fears, and longings for happier times. But it is vitally important that they did not stop there and so drown in their troubles, fears, and longings. They kept on speaking. And they kept on speaking to the Lord they knew was there. There is one other crucial aspect to what the psalmist does here: he remembers in a different way, starting in Psalm 77:10. Read the following verses and consider this question: How should the stories and truths of the Scriptures invade and transform our thoughts and even our memories?
Each of those passages exhort God’s people to remember, to be mindful, to not forget, to remind our children. Remembering is a very willful decision because our default is to forget. Also we tend to more easily remember and dwell on the troubles than on the deliverances. The psalmist wisely moves on from expressing his anguish to addressing God directly. That is a model for us. We’re to bring our troubles and burdens and pain to God, but we’re not to stay there, wallowing in them. We have to look up. And remember.
Reading the psalms is an excellent way to begin remembering rightly.
What do you remember?