Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits. – (Psalm 103:1-2, NIV)
My soul, praise the Lord! Every part of me, praise His holy name! My soul, praise the Lord and never forget how kind He is! – (Psalm 103:1-2, ERV)
O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless His holy name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! – (Psalm 103:1-2, MSG)
This morning, after perusing Facebook while my coffee was brewing, I discovered the story I have watched unfold over the last five years through countless runs (that we affectionately call therapy sessions), poured out with complete honesty and zero ill intent, as my dear friend commemorated in writing, her journey to freedom through faith and forgiveness. Her story and my own, though different, had some common threads that ultimately led to a similar outcome. This story tells of one dream being destroyed, while tremendous blessings of God’s faithfulness tenderly delivered she and her children into an incredible new chapter, with many more blessings yet to unfold. These verses, written by David, are amazingly appropriate as my heart responds with joy and praise for all of His faithfulness and blessings poured out over the past several years. The freedom, goodness and grace received are remarkably evident. Though the story seems to be one of extreme heartache, the other side of it holds dreams realized and hopes restored and made far greater than one could begin to imagine. God is faithful, even on our darkest nights, as His light comes and reveals the truth, hope and good that are meant to remain. May we hold fast to God and His grace, ever praising Him for every blessing He pours out upon us as we choose to allow Him room to lead.
With all of my heart,
I choose bless Your name;
For You are the One,
Who does what He claims.
You take our heartache,
Darkness and despair;
And lead to freedom,
In Your tender care.
Where hope seems but dashed,
You mend and renew;
Your blessings poured out,
As we trust in You.
All thanks be to God,
Whose faithful indeed;
He loves us to life,
And meets all our need.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You turn stories of darkness and despair into ones of healing and hope and beautiful blessings. Thank You that You turn our ashes into beautiful stories of Your redemption and grace. Forgive us for our times of fear and doubt, as You alone are the One to work all things out. Teach us to trust You in every season and circumstance, as You have a far greater plan that our limited understanding can grasp. Show us how to love those around us well, as You use our stories of struggle to illuminate, encourage and bless those who are in their own spaces of darkness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we bless You with all of our being for the hope, goodness and promise that You have for us all. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
(God) 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 103:4-5
*Click on “This story” as highlighted in the text to read the story to which I am referring.