ג Gimel Psalm 119:17-24
Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
I’m a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.
At times we forget the generosity of the Lord. We gripe about the weather or our lack of this or that. We run around looking for others to tell us what to do. When most of the time we already know what we need to do. Maybe we just don't feel confident enough. Maybe we are thinking too small.
I should just stop beating around the bush. I don't like the place between projects or letting go of a good thing because there are better things. I like to know where I am heading. I suppose I am heading to the next project or assignment, I just don't yet know what it is. This verse comes to mind when I think about the first line of our Psalm today. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Matthew Henry had this to say. "He came to put life into the flock, the church in general, which had seemed rather like a valley full of dry bones than like a pasture covered over with flocks. Christ came to vindicate divine truths, to purify divine ordinances, to redress grievances, and to revive dying zeal, to seek those of his flock that were lost, to bind up that which was broken"
Jesus came that we might have life.... and have it to the full. Yet so often we allow our dreams to be locked up. Or because of hurts and disappointments we don't even bother to dream. We are like sheep we get off the path and caught up in the brambles. Yet Jesus would leave the 99 to find the one that is lost. He would bind the wounds of his sheep and even carry it behind his neck until it was able to walk again. It is his generosity that gives us life. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
I like these lines as well because sometimes the road beyond my comfort zone is unfamiliar and uncomfortable and I can be full of doubts and fears. There are regrets for the things that have ended and questions about what lies ahead and if I am even up to the new thing. I'm sure if you've journeyed beyond your comfort zone that you can relate. As I settle my swirling thoughts and remember where my center and balance is found. I hear the wordsSo do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 I pray, like the psalmist, Lord make your direction really clear - don't let me miss that turn or opportunity that you have prepared for me. I can be so easily distracted.
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—
insatiable for your nourishing commands.
And those who think they know so much,
ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it!
Don’t let them mock and humiliate me;
The more I learn of the Lord, the more I see there is so much more to know. Theres a verse that I love that talks about all the books ever written would not be enough to contain the sum of all that Jesus has done. None of us likes to be mocked or humiliated. Who do you listen to, even the best of friends or family have a hard time taking themselves out of the equation. Its hard to simply want the best for another when there best will cause you pain or loss. Sure we say we want what is best, but people who leave their comfort zones often meet with the border bullies. They mean well your change affects them and they knowingly or unknowingly will try to sabotage your moving forward beyond the comfort zone. It is then that one must have a dream that compels them to keep going. Lord be our nourishment along the way. Help us to forgive and say the things that need to be said in love and then make our way forward.
I’ve been careful to do just what you said.
While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me,
I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel.
Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight;
I listen to them as to good neighbors!
I think the bad neighbors are the voices in our head. There is our own voice for example you look in the mirror and all you can see is your faults. There is the enemies voice that often sound so much like our own voice accusing us, tempting us, trying to move us off course. Then there is the Holy Spirit who is always a gentleman. The Holy Spirit will not barge in uninvited. The Holy Spirit speaks softly and in our turmoil we can hardly hear the words - here is the way for you. Don't believe the accuser and don't let your own voice agree with those lies. Turn to me and be saved. Jesus is the way. He is your hope. His joy is your strength. When Jesus was maliciously slandered he was silent, he did not try to vindicate himself. Instead he looked to the Father. When he was tempted in the desert he turned to the word. He held on to those verses they were good neighbors to him. Those verses that we memorize are like a good neighbor or State Farm, there when you need them.
Have a good weekend and I will be back with more Psalm 119 on Monday.
Lord, be generous with each of us. Help us to live our lives to the full in you. Help us to find your joy and your peace. Come Holy Spirit because we are lost unless you show us the way. Fill our hungry souls and comfort us and remind us of the truth of your word when lies are hurled upon us like sticks and stones. Help us to hold on to your truths and you amazing love in the midst of the storms we must at times traverse. We are strangers in these parts, so be sure Lord to give us very clear directions.