Recently, Mark Altrogge posted a challenge to us to look back and remember our story, to recount the goodness of the Lord in our lives. I was looking through some of the stuff we brought along to Uganda and found the following “assignment” that Mike Geer, a friend from our home church, Lifegate, had asked us to do for a Adult Sunday School class he was teaching. We were to write our experiences and struggles in the form of a Psalm. Hence, I named it “Psalm 151“. I hope that it encourages you to lean upon the Lord for grace and to also take time to write your own story of grace and to remember the goodness of the Lord in your own life.
(A song of Carol Lee recounting the works of the Lord in her lifetime and supplications for present trials; sung to the tune of “Come Thou Fount”)
(phraseology borrowed from John Piper’s “Seeing and Savoring Christ” as well as other scripture)
Blessed are those upon whom the Lord has set His affection,
Who are adopted as His children and have been given eyes
To see and savor His beauty, power, sovereign grace and love.
Blessed are those who, in seeing and savoring the Lord,
Turn from everything of lesser value and follow the Lord
With their whole heart!
They will never be put to shame and will enjoy intimate friendship
With the Lord and His people in this life
And a glory that surpasses every earthly affliction and joy
In the life to come.
Lord, You have been my father from my childhood.
In my afflictions you drew me to Your living waters to find life.
You helped me find great comfort in Your Word.
I would have totally despaired in the loneliness of separation from family
If you had not tenderly shielded me from the enemy of my soul
By giving me hope through Your presence
And Your people.
In spite of Your faithful love,
Many times I left Your path and trespassed into disobedience,
Rebellion and the fleeting pleasures of sin – even though
I was Yours (for You bought me with Your lifeblood.)
I did not set my heart on things above where my beautiful Savior
Is seated, but I set my mind on earthly things;
I lost sight and taste of Your beauty and goodness.
I forsook the joy of Your friendship
To find friendship with the world.
But You, O Lord, in the faithfulness of Your covenantal love,
In faithfulness You afflicted me and brought me low.
You convicted me of all my sin and made me to know
That there is no way, no love, no happiness or joy like YOU!!!
All praise be to You, O God!
Though many times I felt forsaken by father and mother,
You made me to know and cherish Your Word – and how beautiful it is:
“Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife
Or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom,
Who will not receive many times more in this age,
And, in the age to come, eternal life.”
See what You have done?!!! You have surrounded me with
Fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers and children.
I lack no good thing! And you will do it again!
O, but Lord, I find my soul in danger, once again,
Of taking pleasure in fleeting earthly joys above the joy of Your call
To keep in step with You and Your Kingdom plans.
My heart prefers comfort, safety, routine, entertainment and ease.
I prefer the boundaries You have given me now
And shrink away from the enlarging borders You want to give me.
I am often having to repent of not making the most of every opportunity
or of not numbering my days.
I hear Your voice, O Lord,
As You speak to me through Your Word:
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up
His cross daily and follow me.”
“If anyone comes to me and does not love me more than
Father, mother, sister, brother, children…”
“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and forfeits himself?”
I hear You, Lord, and I am wrestling with these words.
And, as if that were not enough, Lord,
You are entreating me through my husband,
who shows by example what it means to passionately take up his cross
And follow Christ,
Who is ready to love You more than all earthly treasures
And the people who are so dear to him,
Who so clearly sees that there are other sheep “not of this fold”
Who must be brought in so that there are worshipers of You
From every tribe, tongue, people and nation,
And who does not love his own life
More than Your glory and fame among the nations.
I want to accompany this man joyfully and willingly;
but You, O Lord, from Whom no thoughts are hidden,
Know the unrest in my soul.
O Lord, in this affliction of soul do not forsake me!
Seek Your servant again, for I am a straying sheep.
Pursue me and make me to be set apart for You in thought, motive, word and deed.
Be gracious to me and open my eyes to see and savor You – and
All the more as that Great Day approaches.
Make me to remember Your promises and faithfulness in the past
And to trust that You will, once more, provide the grace that is needed in days to come.
Incline my heart to You and to Your praise and not toward selfish gain,
That I may enjoy Your presence along with Your people,
Both now and forever more. Amen!
Note: I found this a year or two after it was written and I have retyped and edited it…as I sit in the very place for which I was struggling in this Psalm. The Lord has, indeed, been faithful! His grace has been sufficient. My heart has been made more than willing as He has enlarged the boundaries of my lot.