By Patsy Sorrels, columnist
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
This column was written in May 2008. May it be the vessel that gets you to the other side and brings peace to your storm. God promised us a safe landing, my friend, not a calm passage. He loves us. If He told us to go to the other side, then we will get there. Only believe.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name; Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalms 103:1-2)
What benefits? I have a feeling that before David wrote this Psalm, among others, he just might have been reliving his past, brooding over all the uglies from his yesterday.
Thinking and feeling … regrets and more regrets … more thinking, more feeling … along with all the emotion and guilt connected with it. You know, that dreaded condemnation that attaches itself to all the uglies from our past, complete with moving pictures. What? Am I the only one who has said or done things that tend to make you cringe, and shrink back into your little box of promises to never, ever do that again?
If you know the story of David, you know that he not only slew Goliath and won many a battle but he also was a great king, a king with issues, fleshly issues if you will. So, I can only imagine the turmoil David might have endured when “flashbacks” would overtake his thoughts at a time when his emotions were weary and guilt weighed heavy on his heart.
David didn’t stay in that place very long. He shook it off and changed his thoughts. He began to meditate on the goodness and mercy of his God and all His benefits. He began to sing praises and write Psalms that soothed and quieted his soul.
He sang about how God forgave all his sin and iniquities, how He healed all his diseases and redeemed his life from the pit and corruption of hell. How He turned it all around and gave David back his dignity and crowned him with loving-kindness and tender mercy. David began to mediate on how God had satisfied his mouth with good things and renewed his youth as that of an eagle … strong, overcoming, soaring high … just as Isaiah 40:31 had promised.
I know that same loving-kindness, that same tender mercy that David experienced, for God has restored unto me all the years the locusts have eaten.
He has given me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, failing spirit. He has put me in right standing with Him, wrapped me in His goodness, healed my diseases and snatched me from the snare of the fowler more times than I can count. He’s turned my life around and makes everything come out alright. And He’ll do no less for you my friend. He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34)
So, the next time the uglies show up on your doorstep, run to the Lord, change your thought pattern and begin to meditate on all the benefits God has for you. Remember all that He has already done, even the times you didn’t know He was doing it. You know, those times when you look back and say “Yep, I see His hand, He was there all the time.”
Open your Bible and begin to read verses like “Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me,” (Psalm 50:15) “Do not remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing …” (Isaiah 43:18-19) “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Read Psalm 91 and climb into the secret place of the Most High God and say to Him “you are my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in You will I trust.” Then, do what David did … sing like David sang … dance like David danced. Having full confidence that He will give His angels full charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:11) God has a plan for your life my friends. Jeremiah 29:11 says so.
Keep the Faith and worship somewhere today.
Sorrels is News & Eagle editorial assistant and can be reached at email@example.com or at (580) 548-8140.