And we’re back. It’s chemo time again.
And what do I wake up to singing, stuck in my mind, truths being tumbled again?
Praise the Lord O my soul
I will praise His holy name
Praise the Lord O my soul
Forget not all the things He does for me
Who forgives all your sins,
Heals all of your diseases,
Redeems your life from the pit,
Crowns you with love and compassion?
For He knows how weak we are we’re only dust… dust
Our days on earth they are like grass
The wind it blows and we are gone… gone
[These lines are from a song-version of psalm 103
by my friends Ryan & Stefan; check out their sweet cd!
I constantly listen to it as I dwell on the psalms!]
If only I could start out every morning dwelling on these things! Oh heart, oh LORD help me to do so more, more!
Here are the joys of day 31:
- Mama picking me up to take me and wheel me into chemo.
- Mama’s best friend and our family friend Romayne visiting.
- Romayne introducing me to my new obsession of See’s Gourmet lollipops. yesss
- Dad bringing me Smith’s lasagna for lunch. yummm
- Receiving a massage from Peg without even having to tell the nurses to get her for me. ahhh
- Kendra visiting me! with chai tea!
- Meeting the new foster dog Tabitha my parents are housing. much love for her already!
- Receiving wonderful dinner by co-worker Heather. yummm
- Getting offered a ride by Kurt to church’s Central Teaching. I didn’t even have to ask for one today!
- and coming to Central Teaching to see and hear that it’s on one of my favorite psalms ever, PSALM 103!
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Oh yes! Oh my! How many times do I come back to this psalm over and over! How many times does He bring me back to it, how the truth-image-photo appears and develops while soaking in the chemo-chemicals of my brain!
Oh, there is so much love because the Word lovingly and sometimes painfully brings me back to The Truth:
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
Ugh! Oh how quickly and easily and especially in the midst of suffering (as well as good times) forget these things! I forget of the love He has for me, His Giver-Being. And I forget The Ultimate Benefit: the gospel, that is, that I can have a relationship with Him through His Son because of His grace and mercy on self-centered sinners like me.
I love the teacher Chris’ meditation on psalm 103, on how it illuminates for us more deeply the understanding of His mercy. Oh how I need that so that I don’t forget about his mercy!
God’s Mercy Has Infinite:
- Height (103:11)
- Breadth (103:12)
- Depth (103:13)
- Length (103:14-16)
Perhaps this is why Paul prays this prayer for us as believers, because this love is so incomprehensible for a finite being to understand an Infinite Love: we need his help to do so.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
As much and as often as I go to the lamenting psalms and still see them as a great comfort to me, psalm 103 I realized forces reflection on above instead of what is beside me, around me. It reinterates praise (7 times in fact, go count ’em). Praise is the last place I want to be at most days in suffering. And yet your steel-suf fering-heart becomes lit with the fire of His Word and begins to soften into something moldable: into more like the heart of His Son.
And yes, it’s still easy to skip over the meditations of praise towards the Ultimate Benefit of the Gospel here while you read it during times of suffering or times of goodness. Suggestion: listen to it. Go to BibleGateway and click the megaphone. Have the Bible app read it to you. Read it aloud to yourself. Have it read aloud to you by a friend nearby and share the joy, the praise. Listen to Ryan and Stefan’s song version of the psalm. I have found my heart and eyes work so easily to deceptively skip over words as I read the Word to myself, to say to self “Oh yes, I remember this” and forget to pause. Listening over reading creates another outside voice of yourself, one that you have inacted and initiated to speak. I hear more things, receive new insights every time in regards to His Goodness the times I decide to audibly listen to His Word.
Oh yes, joy#10 was the Ultimate Joy of day 31. So funny He places in me the truths I need to dwell on more and more. Should this really even suprise me anymore of His Personal Goodness towards me? Oh yet He continues to prove it so in His Grace.