July 27

Before I was humbled, I went astray, but now I keep your word.  Psalm 119:67 

Those who love me will keep my word. John 14:23 

You might enjoy reading Psalm 119 before you read this devotion, and what I have written here may seem more cohesive.

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—

Psalm 119 1-2

I have to admit, when I read the words of these verses, the thought that came to my mind was, what about those of us whose ways are not always blameless, who try to walk according to the law of the Lord, but don’t always succeed?

There is a small group that I sing with, the Blue Moon Singers – you may have heard us sing at a Sunday service at Christ the King in the summer a few times – and I am grateful to sing with them.  When I was first invited to join them, I was a bit taken aback to hear that they practice on Saturday mornings beginning at 7:30 (AM!).  I told my friend Ande, who invited me on behalf of the group, that I only recognize one 7:30 on Saturdays, and AM is not it, but she urged me to give it a try, and now I can’t imagine not singing with them.  These women have become dear friends of mine, and I am honored to call them my sisters. Without exception, they are women of deep and abiding faith, and I have learned a lot from them – about music, friendship, faith, and many other things.

I tell all this to say that one of my (many) favorite songs that we sing is a medley that includes the song With All My Heart, by Joann Rosario.  The refrain from this song goes as follows:

With all my heart I want to love You Lord
And live my life each day to know You more
All that is in me is Yours completely
I’ll serve You only with all my heart

My love for God makes me want to do better in my life, to be a better Christian, to be a better human being, and to hold Christ’s light up for others to see.  At the same time that I want this for myself, I know in my heart that I can never be as good a person as I could be, because as mortals, none of us can be that perfect.  There are times when I feel angry or frustrated, and think to myself, if I don’t let this out right now, I’ll just explode.  Small note to myself, and anybody else who needs it, I have not exploded yet, and in the future, I need to remember that fact before I speak my mind.

The fact is, God knows everything about us, inside and out, good and bad, our thoughts and actions, our deepest, darkest fears, and He still loves us anyway, despite ourselves.  I know I have written something like that in several of my devotions now, but it is a message that I need to repeat to myself again and again. 

My relief comes at the end of this Psalm.

I have strayed like a lost sheep.
    Seek your servant,
    for I have not forgotten your commands.

Psalm 119: 176

Thank you, Lord, for your patience with me when I wander off the path like a lost sheep. I will do my best to do what you ask of me, but I ask that you stay close to guide me in the right way. Make me bold in sharing your words of love and forgiveness, and if I boast, let me boast only of you.  Make me humble and grateful for all that you have done for me, and let me serve you always with all my heart.  Amen.

Lynda Tysdal