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Sunday, July 10, 2016

PSALM 103

 
 
Forgetfulness runs in my family.  It's called Alzheimer's.  Since both my parents died of it and five out of the six of my mother's siblings were diagnosed with it, it is something to be considerate of whenever forgetfulness strikes.  Taking a moment to come up with the word on the tip of my tongue or drying to dredge up a name sets the alarm bells ringing.  The what-ya-ma-call-it moments come more often than they used to, that is until I remember that I was worse before I got on my thyroid medicine.  Back then I was really forgetful and would forget where I was driving, and I was just in my twenties. There was that time when I was going to a Bible study, came to the stop sign at the bottom of the hill by my house and didn't know where I was going, whether to go right or left.  Finally I went right (when I should have gone left) and kept driving hoping it would come to me.  Eventually it did and I  hung a U-ey. 




 
This Psalm is all about remembering His benefits...
 
"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me,
bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities;
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit;
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years (desire) with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle."
(verses 1-5)


 
Even if I become forgetful, I hope I may still bless the Lord.
With what He has filled my soul, my very eternal being, with Himself,
all that is within me,
may I never forget Him.
If all other faces dim, may His shine.


 
My mother's decline lasted for years.  For awhile she hid it with her social graces and intelligence, and we were the confused ones.  But later she had her moments when she did not even recognize my father.  Once she rebutted him claiming to be her husband by saying, "I would never marry someone like you!"  Of course not.  In her mind she was young, and he was a grouchy old man, bald with a white crown.  Instead, she would dress up, hold her purse and wait outside for her boyfriend to come pick her up.  But she never seemed to forget the Lord.  One of the last things to go was her ability to sing harmony to hymns remembering the words when she forgot who I was singing with her.  Even in that dementia, her youth was renewed as she told me things like she was busy as she had to get the fry pan ready because her brothers and dad were coming back from their fishing trip to the river.  God allowed her to go back to the happy places of her youth to live. 



 
God healed her disease when he took her to her heavenly home.  He protected her from seeing my father slip into dementia.  Even in my father's affliction, he fought for her, to be near her, to care for her in his deranged mind, giving him purpose.  Somehow I believe that my father's life was blessed in part because he chose my mother, and God couldn't help but bless little Harriet with good things.  He satisfied their years, satisfied their desire by allowing them to retire in Colorado and live beside a waterfall overlooking a beautiful river surrounded by mountains where the elk grazed, beside wonderful grandchildren who could walk up to visit them and hear my mother read them stories before her decline.  My father was active there even after heart attacks as God continued to bless them in spite of themselves. God's kinda like that isn't He, you know what I mean, as undeserving as we are.  He crowned them with lovingkindness and compassion and my wonderful brother who watched over them in their last years when life literally got crazy.


 
Now back to me.  I want to practice, O my soul, to bless the Lord.  I want to put that deposit down deep where it can accrue interest even into my old age.  I do not want to forget not even one single one of His benefits, as in "none of His benefits."  I want to remember His pardon, His healing, His redemption from the pit.  (Don't even take a peek over the edge of that black, burning hole!)  I want to make my desire, His desire and be satisfied with the good things He gives.  I want to be crowned with His compassion and lovingkindness. 

 
This is how my youth will be renewed, even if it is in dementia.  Even if I am lost to this world in my mind, may I still enjoy Him wherever He choses to keep me until He finally takes me home.  I'll ride on eagles wings until I can ride on angel's wings.


 
I didn't know I was going here when I began this Psalm, but it just brought these things to memory.  See, I still got it.  I remembered!


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