During my first semester of seminary and in the very first class meeting for public speaking, we students were required to read assigned Scripture passages. One passage that I heard several times was Psalm 103. For whatever reason, I didn’t recall hearing that ever before. The word echoed and reverberated in my mind: “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name. Blessing soul and forget not all his benefits…” Instantly this became my favorite Psalm and has remained one of my favorites to this very day. I was further delighted to learn that this Psalm was also one my grandfather’s favorite passages of Scripture . In fact, it was used of the Lord to bring him to faith in Christ.
Since then, it is a fond tradition in our home to read Psalm 103 prior to eating our Thanksgiving meal. After a few short explanatory remarks, we take turns expressing our thanks to the Lord for his many benefits and blessings us, his children.
Chief among the multitude of blessings is God’s forgiveness. One of the most beautiful and memorable glimpses of God’s grace is found in verse 12: “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
Just how far is the ease from the west? They never meet. Begin to travel in either direction and you will not come to the other. For example, if you begin traveling west and continue traveling in the same direction you never know east – always west. They don’t meet. So it is with God’s forgiveness. Once he forgives us, we are forgiven. We never meet up with them again.
Another great blessing I received from the Lord is a loving and faithful wife. Judy gives so much of herself to me and my care that is hard to describe. Her unending love and diligence in helping me and meeting my needs far exceeds my appreciation and what I deserved. I thank my Lord for providing her for me.
There are a great many things for which I am thankful and will not recite them here. But I do praise the Lord for his provision of all of our needs. I appreciate more and more the way God hears and answers my request for “daily bread.” I encourage you to join me by taking a moment to consider God’s faithfulness and blessings to you and your family.
“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, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1–5, ESV)