The Pathway of Abundance
Five summers ago, I read Psalm 103:1-5 every day for three consecutive months. The words are rich and full of God's goodness. Meditating on the details gave me the aha moment that God's beautiful benefits are part of His character and He desires to bestow them on his kids.
Bless the Lord, o my soul and forget not all His benefits,
My prayers changed and I thanked God for his benefits before I possessed them. As I followed the flow of the text, I saw a pattern of wholeness. First, we bless, God our creator and Father who has the power to bestow his beauty and grace on our lives.
who forgives all of my iniquities,
Recognizing God leads my heart to its own frail need for forgiveness of all my shortcomings, my iniquities, and the places I fall short. When I look into the eyes of my Father, His love penetrates and I bow low.
who heals all of my diseases,
What follows is healing. Healing of my heart that has bled with emotional pain, healing of my body that weathers the gravity of life, healing of my mind that can wander into dark places.
who redeems your life from the pit.
It is then that I am lifted up and given perspective. I have been lifted up and saved from the darkness and transferred into the kingdom of light through Christ Jesus.
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
With our new life in Christ, we live in the light and we give light to others. Our new identity, our crown, offers love and mercy to others. We give away what we have been so generously given.
who satisfies you with good,
The good life flows from within our souls filled up with God's good benefits. This is the kind of good thing we cannot buy with money, it is given freely by our gracious God. This is the good that I give up my thanks. God is a giver of good things to his children.
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.
Putting the Word inside our souls changes us into new and transformed people. Our neuropathways are being reprogrammed to align with God's design. This Psalm is not a formula but it is sequenced in a very particular pattern.
Each promise is built on a promise. It is easy to let our past circumstances and view of the world block the truth God desires to put inside our hearts, minds, and souls. It is natural to try to convince ourselves that these words are just a song sung for the ancient. Believing requires surrendering what we see and know in the natural world.
As I say the words, again and again, I put down all the lies that tell me to live with fear. I take all my disappointments and say they will not define my God, they will define my future. With a heart set on pilgrimage, I will believe.
Living with these truths that are now a part of my mindset has given me deeper roots of faith to navigate difficult turns in my journey. Hope can remain alive when life presses in and I can't see my way forward.
The words of the past are written for today. Take the Thanksgiving Challenge and pray these words daily.
Psalm 103:1-5 ESV in Italics