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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 145:17’

 

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Nine times in Psalm 145, David used the word, “all” to describe the totality of God’s attributes and their far-reaching impact. These attributes fall into two sets, as follows.

The Lord is:

  1. Good to all (v. 9a),
  2. Compassionate on all he has made (v. 9b),
  3. Faithful to all his promises (v. 13c), and
  4. Loving toward all he has made (v. 13d).

In addition he:

  1. Upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down (v. 14),
  2. Is righteous in all his ways (v. 17a),
  3. Is near to all who call upon him in truth (v. 18a), and
  4. Watches over all who love him (v. 20a).

 

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How glorious to consider that all these general statements apply individually also—to you and me.

With a bit of effort, these truths can be turned into personal praise:

 

My heart sings for joy, Father.

You are so good to me (v. 9a)—blessings abound.

Even at this moment I revel in your gently falling rain,

The sound of Steve puttering in the kitchen

(Thank you for a husband who likes to cook!),

And three year-old Elena* on the floor,

Writing a story about making pancakes with Mommy.

Your goodness is on display, even in small moments.

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I praise you for your compassion (v. 9b),

Expressed through a doctor who, just last Saturday,

Offered consult on a weekend,

And even checked in on Monday morning.

Your compassion is evident in the kindness of strangers as well.

Just today a driver graciously gave me

the right-of-way on a narrow street,

Bestowing respect, favor, and a smile.

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How thankful I am for your many promises in scripture (v. 13c)–

Over 2,300 statements of hope and encouragement–

Promises sometimes fulfilled in amazing and creative ways–

Classic promises like Romans 8:28 and 1 Peter 5:7,

Realized as Steve and I moved to different communities

And embarked upon new chapters of our lives.

Personal promises, like Ruth 2:11-12 and John 13:7—

Surprisingly well-suited to the moment.

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I praise you for your loving nature (v. 13d),

Your attentiveness and favor expressed through

The cheer of bird song in the morning,

The grace and friendliness of people at church,

The inspiration of your Word,

The redemption from hurtful experiences of the past,

The peace of mind and joy of the Spirit

You infuse into each day.

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And thank you for the sweet comfort of your presence (v. 18a)

That fills me with delight.

How precious are those times when

I sense your nearness,

When praise songs and scripture

Bring tears that clear my eyes

For the sight of you in your grace

And make the vision of your favor more precious (1).

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Every day I want to praise you (v. 2).

You are pure goodness,

Manifested in infinite power,

Giving the light of truth, wisdom, and discernment.

Your glorious majesty reigns supreme over all creation.

And most amazing of all:

Everything you are, you offer to your children.

You are always seeking to manifest yourself to us.

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Words fail to praise you adequately.

But, oh, how I yearn to do so!

 

*Our granddaughter

(1) based on a Charles Spurgeon quote

 

(Art & photo credits:  www.dailyverses.net; http://www.pinterest.com; Nancy Ruegg; http://www.strongtowns.org; http://www.pinterest.com (4).

 

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“Oh, Lord, please don’t put me at a table where everyone else knows each other,I prayed while putting on earrings. “It’s bad enough that Steve can’t go.”

I was getting ready to attend a dinner theater performance of I’ll Be Home for Christmas*, being held at a nearby church.  Had the evening been a date with my husband as originally planned, it wouldn’t have mattered where we sat. But Steve was in bed with a virus, leaving me to attend alone.

I couldn’t use Steve’s illness as an excuse to stay home.  Our daughter was one of the dancers. I had to be there; I wanted to be there.

God answered my prayer. No one knew each other at my assigned table, and we spent a delightful hour becoming acquainted—no conversation-monopolizers or negative Nellies in the group.

 

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However, I couldn’t help noticing that several tall people were seated between the stage and me. I was going to be rocking back and forth a lot to keep up with the performance. (You short people know what I’m talking about!)

A couple at the table, Larry and Susan, knew one of the teachers from the school where I taught.

“In fact,” Susan added, “She’s here tonight, too–I saw her come in. I think she’s at a table up front.”

During the after-dinner/before-performance break, I wove my way up front to greet Diane. Imagine my surprise when she said,

“We’ve got an extra seat here. Why don’t you come sit with us?”

I scurried back to my original table, expressed my pleasure in meeting everyone, and explained where I was moving and why.

Later, when Heather and the other dancers performed, she was right in front of me much of the time—with no obstructions. Thank you, Lord, for blessings not even asked for, I whispered.

The entire production was over-the-top wonderful, with an engaging script, a well-directed and thoroughly rehearsed cast, and a delightful score. In addition, everyone on stage seemed to be having as much fun as the audience.

 

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But I could tell hours of time had been expended to coordinate the various elements: costumes, set design, actors, dancers, singers, lighting, sound etc. The script also required impeccable timing for certain scenes. No doubt they had practiced again and again to get it just right.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to work on such a musical at our church, I mused. But no way that’s going to happen.

Our music ministry was in need of a new director; the interim (though trying valiantly) was barely keeping us going. The choir had dwindled by half. We weren’t even doing a cantata that year.

But several weeks later, a dynamic director named Dixie accepted the vacant position, and attendance immediately improved.  A few weeks after that she announced we would perform a musical for Easter.

Oh, no, I thought. We’re not ready!

But it turned out we were.   It took a few Saturday rehearsals and longer choir practices on Wednesday nights, but I don’t remember anyone complaining.   The extra hours developed stronger camaraderie among us, renewed our confidence, and bolstered our faith.  Dixie showed us that all things are possible with God—even Easter musicals memorized in six weeks!

Several years later in August, Dixie announced the musical we’d perform for Christmas. And guess what script she pulled out? Yup. I’ll Be Home for Christmas*.

 

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The Lord does indeed fulfill the desires of those who fear him (Psalm 145:17)– desires beyond probability, beyond hope, beyond what we ask for.

 

*I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by Deborah Craig-Claar and Mark Hayes, Lillenas, 1994.

Photo credits:  www.jointhedinnerparty.com; http://www.nph.com; http://www.christianbooks.com.

 

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