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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
     Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
     to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
     Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
     so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
     and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
     more than those who watch for the morning,
     more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
     For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
     and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
     from all its iniquities. (NRSV)


“I hate my life.” That’s what my then-seven-year-old daughter said one beautiful summer day. Trying to be a good father, I reassured her that she really had a good life full of blessings--plenty of food, a nice home, lots of toys, a family that loves her. The psalmist didn’t say, “I hate my life,” but came close when he wrote, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.” We all face challenges, different ones to be sure, but everyone’s challenges are real and significant no matter whether one is seven or twenty-seven or seventy-seven.

At Fourth Presbyterian Church, I encounter many people with very real challenges--searching for a new career, struggling to pay bills, dealing with physical ailments, suffering through nights of nightmares. I meet families trying to hold together, people dealing with budget cuts and layoffs. The list could go on and on.

Facing my own challenges in life, I struggle to hold on to the realization of the many blessings around me and to understand that life is a balancing act, holding the challenges on one side and the blessings on another and remaining aware of both at all times. This is ultimately what I hope my daughter will learn. Yes, we all have challenges, but we are surrounded by an overwhelming abundance of blessings. All we need to do is look for them.


Dear Lord, help me to see the blessings around me and to be a blessing for someone in need. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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