“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5
While using a pliers yesterday my mind suddenly recognized that this was a wonderful way to describe the problems I’ve had with my fingers for quite a while. I could see what the pliers was holding but could not feel it. My fingers have been like that for the past decade, as were my mom’s. Try turning the pages of the hymnal with a pliers, or holding a fork and knife, buttoning a shirt, pulling up a zipper, serving Holy Communion or typing on a keyboard. Often we don’t fully understand what challenges face the person sitting next to us; God knows. When you and I sit down for our third meal of the day tonight, think about this child eating a plate of rice and beans. When “come Lord Jesus” is leaving your lips; think about this child living in Haiti. When that white plastic spoon draws in the last grain of rice and sauce and it passes through his lips, that will be the finish of his meal for the day; one and done. We cannot begin to know what thoughts are in his mind when that moment comes that his plate is empty; God knows. May we be more observant today and tomorrow of those around us. I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘In midst of earthly life’ that were written by Martin Luther, a long, long time ago.
“In the midst of earthly life snares of death surround us; who shall help us in the strife lest the Foe confound us? Thou only, Lord, Thou only. We mourn that we have greatly erred, that our sins Thy wrath have stirred. Holy and righteous God! Holy and mighty God! Holy and all-merciful Savior! Eternal Lord God! Save us lest we perish in the bitter pangs of death. Have mercy, O Lord! In the midst of death's dark vale powers of hell o'ertake us. Who will help when they assail, who secure will make us? Thou only, Lord, Thou only. Thy heart is moved with tenderness, pities us in our distress. Holy and righteous God! Holy and mighty God! Holy and all-merciful Savior! Eternal Lord God! Save us lest we perish in the bitter pangs of death. Have mercy, O Lord! In the midst of utter woe all our sins oppress us, where shall we for refuge go, where for grace to bless us? To Thee, Lord Jesus, only. Thy precious blood was shed to win full atonement for our sin. Holy and righteous God! Holy and mighty God! Holy and all-merciful Savior! Eternal Lord God! Save us lest we perish in the bitter pangs of death. Have mercy, O Lord!”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay