Oh man, it feels so very good to be back to this blog. As I began working on this next set of writings for these posts I just felt so blessed and loved on by the Lord, it felt like coming home. I hope everyone had a great holiday week. Ours was good, but scary, as my youngest nephew Josh had a sudden health problem that sent him to the hospital. God is so very good, though, and there were a lot of people praying for the little guy. I truly believe that God worked a miracle in that little kid, as the first diagnosis of a burst appendix turned out to be totally wrong once the surgeon opened him up. The appendix still had to come out, but it hadn’t burst yet so there were no complications. So praise the Lord, Josh was home 24 hours later being treated like a precious angel as he recovered.
As you can tell from the title of this blog, I decided to leap back into Psalms. I’m just doing 10 Psalms this time, from 25 to 35. Every time I come back to the book of Psalms I just find myself so blessed with all the knowledge and insight they contain.
In this Psalm of David he’s troubled and crying out to the Lord about several things. I found several verses in this Psalm that really spoke to me. Here’s the first part that really jumped out at me.
Psalm 25:6-7 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
As far as God is concerned, sin repented of is forgiven and gone. There’s great power and victory in living in that truth, and that’s the default mode I try to stay in. But I just found something beautiful about David reaching back and repenting of his youthful sins. There’s a beauty in saying, don’t judge me for the scumbag that I was, God, forget about the years I spent ignoring your call. There’s just something beautiful to me in that. I don’t think we should live in the past, God’s redeemed us and made us new, that old life is dead and gone. But for me personally, I have things in my life that if I’m not mindful I can fall back into. One thing I really dislike about my old self is how selfish I could be. If I don’t remind myself of that every once in a while, I’ll get glimpses of that old habit creeping into my behavior. At those times, it’s helpful for me to take a minute and meditate on it, to remember who I was and how much happier and joyful I am now that I’m not so selfish, now that I work to model my life after Jesus. And it reminds me of the goodness of my God, that when I finally got to the point of turning away from my old ways He was there waiting with open arms, reminding me that I’m a new creation in Him and that I don’t have to let my old sinful nature define me.
I think it’s a common attack of the enemy to try to fill our mind with the way we used to be, to remind us of all the ways we used to fall short. It can be an attempt to cripple us with guilt or maybe to tempt us to fall back into old sinful habits. In those future moments when I sense this type of attack happening, when I feel that old sinful nature or old sinful habits creeping up on me, I’m going to return to this Psalm and just be thankful to the Lord. Thank you Lord, that you remember not my youthful sins, but that according to your steadfast love you remember me for the sake of your goodness! My old self is dead and gone, I don’t have to live in guilt over past mistakes.
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This next verse hits on something that I’ve talked about several times on this blog, as God reminds me of something once again.
Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
If you’ve followed this blog you know that one of my struggles is that I tend to try to handle problems and issues on my own. It’s dumb, and I think I’m getting better at not doing this, but this verse just leapt off the page to once again remind me that we don’t have to suffer alone. God is our comforter, and there’s great beauty in the way that David cries out to Him here. Turn to me, be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. There’s such deep beauty in the intimate way David spoke to the Lord. There’s no pretense here, no religiosity, no churchspeak, just David’s heart spilled out on the floor. I’ve learned a lot about prayer by reading David’s psalms. The honest and just heartfelt way he speaks to God really inspires me and I think should be a model for how we should approach the Lord. God’s not a stranger, He’s not some foreboding priest looking down on me from a pulpit, He’s my dad. And I can cry out to dad and really let loose, really tell Him how I’m feeling.
Returning to my original point here, God’s our stronghold. He wants us to turn to Him in hard times, He’s there to shield us and aid us in the troubled times. I love how God keeps reminding me of this and keeps these verses popping out to me. He loves me so much, it can’t be pleasing for Him to see me time and time again stand alone outside in the storms of life and yell at the lightning and the rain. God speaks through His word, and when verses like these jump out at me I just feel so loved because I know that He’s lovingly reminding me of this truth, that I don’t have to suffer alone, that I have a refuge when times get tough.
CLOSING AND PRAYER
For prayer today I just have the start of the Christmas season on my heart, so I want to pray about that. Father God, I thank you for this time of year. It’s my favorite time of year, a time filled with joy and fun and fellowship with those I love. But Father, it’s also a busy and stressful time for a lot of people, and I just want to lift them all up to you right now Lord. Give us all wisdom this Christmas season, grant us safe travels as we move about in heavy traffic, and Lord above all please just let your peace rest upon all of us as we prepare for Christmas. Father, too often people lose the point of this season as they race around and stress and rush and worry to get everything ready. Lord, I pray that you just rest upon us like a cloud throughout this holiday season. Grant us such overwhelming peace and calm that we couldn’t stress over the holiday even if we wanted to. I love you Lord, and I thank you so much for this season. So many beautiful memories in my mind are of this season. I thank you for the cold weather, for the beautiful blinking lights, and for all the gatherings of friends and family. Thank you for making this a season of peace and comfort in my life, Lord, and I’d ask that for those who struggle during this holiday season you just descend upon them like a rushing wind of comfort and blessings and love. Let them know that you’re present with them, and that even if they have no people around them that they’re far from alone. I love you Lord and I thank you so much for all that you are and all that you do. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.
Alright, that’s it for today. Tomorrow we’ll finish off Psalm 25 with a great insight the Lord gave me. I love all of you guys and I’m excited to be back after the holiday week off. As you all get back in the swing of work and life this week just know that God’s there with you every step of the way. He loves you!