12 The Lord blesses each nation that worships only him. He blesses his chosen ones. 13 The Lord looks at the world 14 from his throne in heaven, and he watches us all. 15 The Lord gave us each a mind, and nothing we do can be hidden from him.
16 Mighty armies alone cannot win wars for a king; great strength by itself cannot keep a soldier safe. 17 In war the strength of a horse cannot be trusted to take you to safety. 18 But the Lord watches over all who honor him and trust his kindness. 19 He protects them from death and starvation.
20 We depend on you, Lord, to help and protect us. 21 You make our hearts glad because we trust you, the only God. 22 Be kind and bless us! We depend on you.
The Old Testament has a strong understanding of blessing = having done what God wants, and doing what God wants = blessing. We may see a bigger picture than that, but it was the one the Psalmist is working with.
And who can argue with verses 20-22, whatever your world view?!
Do I need nice things? Good holidays? What I see my neighbour has? Others to say nice things about me? The comfort and challenge of the world?
Or can I find my worth and delight in who and what I am? Unadorned? Deep within my very self? Am I enough? Or do I need something else?
Can we find our worth in God alone?
We considered yesterday how important community is. But we cannot find our worth solely in others. They can certainly help or hinder us, but we need to be secure within ourselves – otherwise we can at times respond in very strange and unhelpful ways
Henri Nouwen challenges us to try cutting out other things for a day. To be alone with ourselves. To see where our dependencies lie – and to consider if they are healthy or not. As we prepare for Christ’s coming, it’s a good question to ask ourselves.
“Things” can let us down – God doesn’t and won’t. We can stand secure in him and the depth of his love for the real, intrinsic us – you and me.
Forgive me Lord,
for the times I look for my self-worth
in all the wrong places.
to look to you,
to clear the things that get in the way,
of truly knowing and accepting
the depth of your love for me.
Lord, I come before you
and ask you,
and you alone,
to meet my needs
of love, security and worth
And no sooner had I written this post, than this dropped into my Inbox:
Letting the Love and Light Flow
When we begin to discover and to drop the barriers and fears which prevent us from being ourselves and which prevent the life of the Holy Spirit from flowing through us, we become more simple. Simplicity is no more and no less than being ourselves, knowing that we are loved. It is knowing that we are accepted, with our qualities, our flaws and as we are in the depths of our being. Simplicity is letting the love and the light of God flow and shine through us.