Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, 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.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  (Ps. 103: 1-12)

 

Whatever my desires and whatever their scope, they are microscopic when compared with the dimensions of God’s desires for me.

So many desires are prompted and promoted by the world, and they aren’t for good things. They create an appetite for self-indulgence that in turn feeds on itself.

God satisfies my desire for meaning, fulfillment and love with good things — God things — which have lasting significance and value. He leads me to desire His qualities — more of His love, His grace, His compassion — and when I do, I feel new vitality flowing through my being. There is a fresh outlook of hope and enthusiasm that rejuvenates my spirit.

If I’ve been madly flapping my wings just to keep from crashing, I discover that now I can soar almost effortlessly to new heights and a whole new vantage point on the warm updraft of His love.

Unlike Satan, God isn’t in perpetual “accuse mode.” He’s slow to anger, giving me every chance to repent and turn back to Him. Once that happens, He doesn’t hang on to His anger with my sin and hypocrisy. No, His love rejoices in forgiveness and restoration. It’s hard to quantify the depth of my gratitude that He doesn’t treat me as my sins deserve. Instead, He puts a world of distance between me and my wrong choices.

God masters the opposites that confound me. He lives in “a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit.” (Isa 57:15) His reach is so infinite that He can remain holy on the heights at the same time as he’s holding me as I struggle here in the depths. Not only is He willing to extend His hand such a distance, but actually longs for the chance to restore me. He knows that repentance heals, and healing His wounded children is what He yearns to do. Nothing thrills Him more than being able to say, “Come home, my beloved child. All is forgiven.”

The dimensions of sin are long, deep and wide. The dimensions of His love and eagerness to forgive are too immense to be measured. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Ps 30:5)

Thank You, holy heavenly Father, that after the dark night of confronting my sin, You bring the dawn of repentance and the full glory of the morning; that in my heart, Your Son rises.