My life has been a journey full of twists & turns, highs & lows. Honestly, I'm not sure I could really define where I'm headed. But one thing I'm learning, the journey isn't all about the final destination but more about how we travel. And fulfillment is found in all that we learn & experience as we journey, not just getting to the end of it. I can't even imagine making mine without Christ before me, behind me, and beside me...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1000 Gifts: The Ways That He Loves (Psalm 116)

The way that He loves is as fair as the day that blesses my way with light....
      The way that He loves is so thrilling because His love reaches even me...

      ...Words from the old country & western gospel hymn. When I was about 12-13, it was one of the first songs I taught myself to play on the piano (It was easy--Key of C!) of the first songs I sang at church by myself and with my sister and cousins. I remember how precious it was back then to be reminded of the way that Jesus loves...A simple sweet message and melody.
     When I look back on my life journey and I realize how many miles I have come, I am reminded how He has blessed "my way with light," especially in the darkest times. I can't help but be humbled by all that God has done and for all He has given. When life overwhelms me and I look to His Word for comfort, I am reminded of His faithfulness and the many ways that He loves. And I am so humbly grateful as my list of "1000 Gifts" goes on...

6.  He listens even when no one else hears me. All I have to do is whisper His name.
"I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends  down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath." - Psalm 116:1-2

7.  In times of despair, He gently draws me to Him even when i am blinded by circumstance. Time after time I wanted to give up. Time after time, His Spirit gently reminded me to turn to Him rather than despair.
"Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: 'Please Lord, save me!'" - Psalm 116:3-4

8.  He never forgets me. His gentle kindness, His abundant goodness, and His unwavering mercy are faithful reminders...
"How kind the Lord is! How good He is! So merciful, this God of ours!" - Psalm 116:5

9.  He protects me from harm. He has been my Safe Place my whole life long. No matter how people or circumstances tried to harm me, He guarded my heart. In a laundry hamper or under a willow tree, He provided me safe shelter in childhood. And today, He gives me safety and rest in His peaceful sanctuary. He IS my sanctuary.
"The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and He saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me." - Psalm 116:6-7

10.  He saves me...from depression, from the pain caused by others, and from my own mistakes and downfalls. He comforts, He strengthens, he heals, and He pushes me onward.
"He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord's presence as I live here o earth!" - Psalm 116:8-9

11.  He cares about every moment beginning to end. He knows our sorrow even as He fulfills His perfect plan in us.
"The Lord cares deeply when His loved ones die." - Psalm 116:15

12.  He frees me from the chains of my sin and my past. He gave me freedom, yet I am honored and blessed to be His servant.
"O Lord, I am Your servant; yes, I am Your servant, born into Your household; You have freed me from my chains. I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord." - Psalm 116:16-17

13.  He blesses me with fellowship and accountability. He has surrounded me with a family of believers who love and accept me as I am but who also encourage me to seek His will and to grow in faith.
"I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all His people...I will fulfill my vows o the Lord int he presence of all His people--in the house of the Lord, in the heart of Jerusalem." - Psalm 116:14, 18-19

14.  He loves me no matter what. His love for me is not measured out according to my ability to return it in kind. I could never repay all that He has done for me!
"What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord's name for saving me." - Psalm 116:12-13

      ...His peace hovers near like a dove; I know there's a heaven above.
      To Jesus I cling--life's a wonderful thing because of the way He loves.     

Thank You, Lord, for the many ways that You love me...That You meet me at my greatest need...That You understand my weaknesses and my hurts. I am overwhelmed when I realize how far You have led me and how far You have carried me. I can't even begin to repay all that You are to me, yet You know my heart and accept my meager gratitude. I am nothing without You and I am honored to be Your be Your child. I love You too.-- sheri

"The Way That He Loves," - I couldn't find the writer & publisher information on this song but I learned it from the old "Country & Western Gospel Hymnal" back in the day, long since lost to me now.

holy experience

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