The Power of Gratitude

In my office I have a hand-carved book stand designed to hold an open book.  For several years I have had a Bible on that stand open to Psalm 116.

bookstandI keep it on a shelf with several items that represent significant moments in my life: small souvenirs from important trips, pictures of special people, gifts from my children.  I have a cup from Dresden, Germany, a bullet from a friend’s unsuccessful suicide attempt, an animal carving from Ghana, West Africa, and a few other items that pull me back to those moments in my history that I do not want to forget.

But in the center of this shelf is the open Bible.  I keep it open to Psalm 116 because this Psalm led me through a very difficult time in my life.

One morning during this difficult time, I was reading in the Psalms, trying to regain my spiritual focus and my sense of purpose.  I usually read with a pen in my hand, marking repeated words and themes, and I noticed in chapter 116, three themes that seemed to be woven together throughout the psalm.  I spent quite a bit of time reading, marking, thinking, and praying about these themes.  Eventually I assembled them into three lists and wrote them in my journal.  Here is almost word-for-word what I wrote that morning:

Psalm 116 Describes — 1st The Human Plight

“Death Entangled Me”  (Vs. 3)
“The Grave Came Upon Me”  (Vs. 3)
“Overcome By Trouble And Sorrow”  (Vs. 3)
“In Great Need”  (Vs. 6)
“Death”  (Vs. 8)
“Eyes . . . Tears . . . Feet . . . Stumbling”  (Vs. 8)
“Greatly Afflicted”  (Vs. 10)
“In Dismay”  (Vs. 11)
“My Chains”  (Vs. 16)

Psalm 116 Describes — 2nd The Personal Rescue

“He Heard My Voice; He Heard My Cry”  (Vs. 1)
“He Turned His Ear To Me”  (Vs. 2)
“The Lord Protects”  (Vs. 6)
“He Saved Me”  (Vs. 6)
“The Lord Has Been Good To You”  (Vs. 7)
“You, O Lord, Have Delivered My Soul”  (Vs. 8)
“His Goodness To Me”  (Vs. 12)
“You Have Freed Me”  (Vs. 16)

Psalm 116 Describes — 3rd The Only Valid Response

“I Love The Lord”  (Vs. 1)
“I Will Call On Him As Long As I Live”  (Vs. 2)
“Be At Rest”  (Vs. 7)
“Walk Before The Lord In The Land Of The Living”  (Vs. 9)
“I Will Lift Up The Cup Of Salvation” (Vs. 13)
“Call On The Name Of The Lord”  (Vs. 13)
“I Will Fulfill My Vows To The Lord In The Presence Of His People”  (Vs. 14, 18)
“I Am Your Servant”  (Vs. 16)
“I Will Sacrifice A Thank Offering”  (Vs. 17)
“Praise The Lord”  (Vs. 19
)

Psalm 116 helped me to turn the corner because it opened my eyes to the coming rescue and led me to gratitude.  Gratitude helped me see through the pain of uncertainty.  And now I keep the Bible on the book stand as my constant reminder of the power of gratitude.

Advertisements

About Bob Chisholm

Spiritual Director Mentor Seminar Speaker Minister
This entry was posted in Gratitude, Psalms. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s