Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Forget the Benefits

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 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 103:2-5 NASB

I am so excited. I feel like a teenager who just found out they're no longer grounded. I drove into town today for the first time in 8 weeks. As I walked down my sidewalk toward the car, a massive flock of robins filled our woods with a magnificent and amazing song fest. It was as though the Lord had arranged a Hallelujah chorus for that moment. No, I really don't think everything is about me. It was just a wonderful converging sound tract to help me celebrate my freedom.

I felt so grateful for the things I normally take for granted. I got my hair cut and styled. I ran into friends and got to chat. I did something totally superficial and got in the tanning bed. It felt so good after being cooped up; I didn't want to get out of it. I had forgotten the benefits of driving myself around town.

I have known the Lord for over 30 years. Since I am working on my testimony right now it has made me think about the real benefits of my life. I am so grateful to the One who has forgiven all my sins, healed all my diseases, redeemed my life from the pit, and crowned me with love and compassion. He has taken away wrong desires, satisfied the healthy desires with good things, so that I am renewed. Paul experienced this and so can we. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

I suppose it is just human nature to take the things we enjoy every day for granted. In so many ways, even though it was challenging to deal with a broken ankle and all the restrictions, it has made me a more grateful woman. Can you join me in some positive self-talk? Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not His benefits.

MY PRAYER: Lord, every day you load us down with so many good things. The greatest is your presence in our lives. Lord, we want to be a grateful people. Help us not to forget or take the benefits of knowing You for granted. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Melody Ann said...

Dear Carol; Just a note to thank you for "Don't Forget the Benefits" I received such a blesssing reading and listening to your blog, it inspires me daily. I couldn't agree with you more, He is daily working on us, giving each of us opportunity after opportunity to lean on Him, trust in Him and look to Him for everything. Psalms 37 is becoming one of my favs "Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word."
Thank You Carol for allowing me to know you even more.

Carol Ray Lackland said...

Hey Melody,
Went to Asheville early yesterday to have our car serviced. Rell and I went together and took Taz.
I love the Scripture you shared about "turn my eyes away from worthless things." We are bombarded by a lot of worthless things. That is something I have prayed about in the New Year. Most of us don't look at bad things, but worthless is another matter. I got tickled at Beth Moore quoting her daughter. She said when her daughter watches something worthless, she looks at her mom and says, "I'm dumber now."

Melody Ann said...

I just wanted to share some words of wisdom that I just read in the Beth Moore bible study Esther "It's tough being a woman." She speaks of her Bible and how the edges are curling, and her notes are smudging, but the pursuit of God in Scripture and its connection to the human experience, are life to me. She quoted author Patricia Raybon who described a time when she sought the presence of God in a hospital chapel while her husband underwent life-and-death surgery. "I picked up a Bible, she waited for that nice rush that comes from holding a worn, loved copy of the Scriptures. Bibles like that have their own heat. They've been prayed over, cried on, sung with, stroked and gripped and loved so hard they just emote-just by being touched-that human loam and steam and hope that faith gives off.
Beth ask that we not miss the point by looking for the doctrine in it. To steep ourselves in the emotion. Think what you've been through with God in those pages. Think of the hope, guidance, assurance, and affection you've sought. I can't help but shout to the Lord for creating each of us according to and for His purpose. I am amazed on a daily basis of His Word, His promise and His love for each of us. I am reminded that we each have to accept it, He extends....we chose to accept it all at once, little by little or not at all. He is a gentleman, He will not and cannot force Himself on anyone. And He never gives up. I just stand in awe today, wanting this for each of His children.

Carol Ray Lackland said...

Melody, That's great and so true. I know that Theresa Noland told me she loved going through her mom's Bible after she died. All the notes, the names written by a promise, etc. I don't know how anyone makes it apart from the One who promises to never leave or forsake us.