By Nathan P. Adams
Park Hill UMC, Lead Pastor
Seek. Treasure. Declare. Delight. Meditate. Delight (again)
On their own, these verbs sound like they might be from one person to a loved one such as a partner, child, or parent. Indeed, as a starry-eyed teenager insistent that I’d met the love of my life (I hadn’t), I’m pretty sure that I wrote a really cheesy love note that contained these verbs. Perhaps you did as well?
Of course, these verbs aren’t being written in a love note or hastily exchanged texts between teenagers.
No, we find these verbs as the actions of the psalmist of Psalm 119. They reveal a deep relationship with God and specifically the words of God that is full of devotion, dedication, and intention. They allude to a relationship ultimately filled with trust and hope.
Scripture is filled with stories of God’s faithfulness to humanity and creation as well as both fulfilled and future promises from God. On its own this might be enough to elicit trust and hope from the psalmist. However, I wonder if there is more to the story.
My mind wonders to what the psalmist understands and believes about how God has worked directly in the life of the psalmist. Has life worked out the way the psalmist always dreamed it would? Was the psalmist delivered from sickness, injury, or death? Perhaps the psalmist received some good news about a business prospect or regularly enjoys the company of good friends and family.
Whatever has happened in the psalmist’s life, trust and hope in God and particularly in God’s words oozes out of every part of our scripture today. You can almost picture the psalmist on a quiet hill somewhere reflecting on what God has been up to in the life of the psalmist and in the world.
This past December as I reflected on my 2017 and prepared for my first Christmas with my new church family, I too found my heart and mind full of trust and hope. My year involved an unexpected move across the country to an unfamiliar place to serve an unfamiliar people. It was one full both of lots of questions and lots of excitement. It was full of lots of verbs! What I kept returning to during that time was how good of a fit my new home, church, and my place in both is and how somehow, so unexpectedly, I was experiencing fulfilled promises of God’s faithfulness, presence, and love.
I found myself telling friends, family members, and church members of how good God has been, is, and promises to be. I found myself with a renewed sense of both trust and hope with a desire to continue to get to know God more and more.
One might say I too wanted to seek, treasure, declare, delight, meditate, and delight again in God and God’s word. For God indeed loves each of us and longs for us to return that love.
Prayer: Thank you God for promising to love me and actually doing so exactly how I am. Help me to take the time to get to know you and your words better and to discover what it is you are doing in my life so that I may share the trust and hope I have in you with others.
- When is the most recent time you experienced God moving and working in your life? How did it make you feel? Did you share it with anyone?
- Who is someone in your life that you are completely devoted to? Proud of? Want to get to know better?
- What is the most meaningful promise of God revealed in the Bible to you? Why?