Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

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Psalm 104

Praise the LORD, my soul.
LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent

and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.

He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.

You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;

they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.

You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.

They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.

He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:

wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.

The trees of the LORD are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.

The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.

You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.

The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.

The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.

Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.

How many are your works, LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.

There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.

When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.

When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.

When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works—

he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.

But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.

Praise the LORD, my soul.
Praise the LORD

I thought that it would be fitting for the next few Wednesdays to focus on Thanksgiving. This time of the year is such a wonderful reminder to thank God for the many blessings in our lives.

We often thank the Lord for many things but one thing we take for granted is His creation. When was the last time that you stopped, looked around and appreciated all God has made?

Of course, we talk about how beautiful the changing leaves are and we may stop in awe to look at a rainbow or sunset. What about all the other little things that we hardly notice? Or as this Psalm mentions, the fact that everything in nature works in such perfect harmony?

We get rain when we need it. The sun rises and sets every morning and evening. The birds instinctively know when to fly south and when to return. Animals hibernate in the winter and wake in the spring. Bees pollinate the earth and a multitude of other things that are too numerous to name.

We get so busy living our lives that we have to consciously stop and think of all the things God maintains. Just the fact that we wake up each day and breathe in a perfect blend of gases is a gift from Him.

During this Thanksgiving season, and even beyond, don't forget to thank Him for everything He has created. When we do this, our response should be as David's was in this Psalm.

"Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord!"