“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…”
Oh Father, in this new year, we want to bless your holy name. Both on bright days of joy, and on irritating and confusing days when we begin to grumble or fear, we really do want to be people of praise!
But we so easily forget your benefits. We forget that you paid such an exorbitant price to forgive us our sin. We forget that, whether in this life or the next, you are the one who heals us of all pain and suffering.
Once weakened prisoners
So Father, please, by your Spirit, work in us! Work within our stubborn hearts a breathless humility at this thought: We were slaves, weakened prisoners, thrown into a deserved pit of condemnation. We were hopeless, helpless, trapped.
And then you came. You came intentionally. You came to purchase us out of our imprisonment.
You scooped us up out of the darkened pit.
And you could have just scooped. Scooped, and then set us aside. You could have left us to fend for ourselves. You could have said, “I redeemed you. I paid the price. But you irritate me. Go figure out your life for yourself.”
But not you.
You, instead, crowned us. You pulled us up from the dark trap, and you placed a crown of steadfast, never-ending, never-lessening love on our head. A crown of mercy. Of gentle compassion, toward us, the inadequate. The inept. The undeserving.
O Father, please remind us. Remind us this new year. Give us hearts that remember your benefits and bless, from deep depths, your most holy name!