With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD!
I will keep your statutes.
I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O LORD, according to your justice give me life.
They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
they are far from your law.
But you are near, O LORD,
and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever. -Psalm 119:145-152, ESV
-The psalmist does not take his role lightly: he cries out to God with his whole heart, he gets up before the sun, when necessary he even forgoes sleep.
-The Psalmist knows God; knows His character and trusts Him to be true to Himself. In essence he understands that God holds his life in His hands.
There is a distinct difference between the work of the psalmist and the work of God revealed in these verses. It is interesting to note that the psalmist is not running around trying to fix things on his own. He is spending his labors in another way, a way that is perhaps not so natural for us. First, we note that he is crying out to God with his whole heart. His heart is not divided in its focus, he knows that he needs God. This is not some little prayer offered up as a backup, some kind of insurance. This is the cry of a man who recognizes that only God can do what needs to be done. I see his work as putting himself in a place where God can work.
How often do I try to fix things first and then seek God when my fix did not work out the way I intended. Today's reading is a gentle reminder to put first things first. Seek ye first the kingdom of God...
I am thinking about the little dark-eyed junco in my photograph. He flits around doing what he was made to do. On his winter journey he is totally unaware of the person God had prepared ahead of him to provide food to help him through this winter of extremes. He is just doing what a bird does. Let me be about doing what a follower of Jesus Christ does instead of fretting about all those things that are out of my control anyway. Let me be a person who trusts God to work according to His character.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
Righteous are you, O LORD,
and right are your rules.
You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live. -Psalm 119:137-144, ESV
-The LORD is righteous, and all of His ways are right-and it is a solid foundation because His righteousness lasts forever.
-The LORD is faithful.
-The LORD's commandments are right, have been "appointed in righteousness, are true, are a delight to those who love the LORD, are righteous forever.
"Trouble and anguish have found me out, but..." But. It is an interesting word. No matter what precedes it, "but" overrules the previous statement. No matter how bad it gets God is greater. The thing about trouble and anguish, they do find us out. They reveal our weaknesses. They shed light on who we truly are when it really matters. Do you have character flaws? Trouble and anguish will find you out. But God. He gives us understanding. He lights our way. God uses His word to instruct us, to guide us. We have the best teacher in the world, and it is God.
This is a day that is full of emotions for me. This is the anniversary of my younger brother's death and my mother's death a year later. It has been several years now, but these early days of February always bring me back to those days of trouble and anguish. I found the strength to carry on in God's Word. I find the strength to continue to fight the good fight in God's Word. His promises are true and He is faithful forever. I love the Psalms. They have sung to my heart at its lowest points. There is a power in these words that is unlike any others we may read. When I open up my Bible I open up my heart and mind and soul to God. He waits for me there within its pages. His words bring life, peace, hope, and love. My life is full of "but Gods." Today is a day that brings emotions of all sorts, but God gave life where there was death. He gave my mother and brother the ultimate victory for they placed their faith in Jesus Christ and on His death and resurrection. Their earthly bodies failed, but on this day many years ago they joined Christ in paradise. The greatest "but" of all.
Grace, peace, and mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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