I love you, God

23 Sep

This is the way Psalm 18 starts in The Message.  If you read this Psalm in the New Revised Standard Version you will find the lines of a great hymn.  “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.  So, shall I be saved from my enemies.”  I like Peterson paraphrase of this line, “I sing to God, the Praise Lofty, and find myself safe and saved.

This psalm is attributed to King David, as are many of the psalm.  It is a song of praise and thanksgiving and is joyful to read.  As I read through all the great images in this song of praise, I am once again amazed at people who take the Bible literally.  Did these people decide that the language of the psalms was symbolic and other description were literal??

Anyway, back to the really great stuff in this psalm.  I love this psalm because it reminds me of my life; how I found a life by looking for God in each moment of my life.  Here is the psalmist talking about God,

“But me he caught – reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of the ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning.  They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me.  He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved – surprised to be loved!”

This is one of my favorite lines in the psalm – “I stood there saved – surprised to be loved!”  Maybe it was because I start my intentional relationship with God when I was a teenager, but this is the way I felt – surprised to be loved.  Sometimes, I still feel this way.  This is not in a poor, poor pitiful me kind of way.  But because I am exactly who I want to be and doing what I want to do; and sometime trying not to say exactly what comes into my mind – and I am still loved.

Moving on in the psalm there is beautiful description of God in our lives; or at least for me.

“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.  When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start.  Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.  Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick.  I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step.  God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes”

This part of the psalm reminds me of a sermon story I used sometimes.  It is the story of a child who breaks a toy.  Sadden and ashamed of what the child has done they hid the toy.  The child becomes more sad because they have now lost the toy and are keeping the secret from their parent.  Finally, in tears, the child confesses, and brings out the piece of the toy to their parent.  The parent takes the toy, fixes it, and tells the child that unless they let them see the brokeness, it can’t be mended.  For me it is a great image of an aspect of our relationship with God and echos the psalm’s great line, “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”

I will include one more section of this long psalm,

“The good people taste your goodness, the whole people taste your health, the true people taste your truth, the bad ones can’t figure you out.  You take the side of the down-and-out, but the stuck-up you take down a peg.”

So, where do you fit in this list from the psalmist.  I like that all kinds of people are included in the list.

I pray you find the joy waiting in your God-parent’s eyes

 

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