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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 128

Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
   who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
   you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
   within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
   around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed
   who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion.
   May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
   all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children.
   Peace be upon Israel! (NRSV)

The notion of fearing the Lord was always a little confusing to me and still is. I have to stop and rethink through the basic premise. Psalm 128 clearly describes how life can unfold beautifully when you honor and revere God’s work in your life. Being obedient means, to me, walking the path that is laid out for me even when I may want to do something else.

A family friend and I were catching up recently about her three darling girls whom I used to babysit—the eldest of which is going off to college next year, a big change for any parent! She asked if I could be someone her daughter could call if things ever got hard. She was worried about the peer pressures of college for her daughter and said, “My father always said “it can be lonely when you make good choices.’” That really resonated with me. Being obedient to the Lord does not mean that it is going to be easy. God never tells us that. Instead God tells us that he will provide; God will provide in the ways that we need and in the ways God knows that are best for us.

We need a little fear to be obedient, otherwise there would be no consequences for our actions. The hardest decisions for me in my life have been to do what God has told me even when I want something different. Praise God there are consequences for our actions; otherwise we would not move forward with any fear.

Lord, the path you lay before me can be lonely. It can be hard to be obedient. Help me to stay fast to it even when I do not want to. Thank you for loving me enough to allow me to choose and trusting me enough to know that I might falter but I will ultimately come back. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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