I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cried,
and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
The kind of grace that the Psalmist wrote about may manifest in different ways. The Message paraphrase translation of the Bible reads as follows:
You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough.
When hiking a dirt path in the forest and being immersed in the mystery of creation and Creator, I feel like dancing. Shrubs are beginning to blossom and there are small wildflowers. I felt it today when walking around a lake in a public park not far from my home and the poem came forth.
There have been times in my life that I’ve felt the immensity of God’s grace. It has happened when someone has cared enough to listen to my grief and pain. Relieved of the emotional weight, I twirled and danced!
However it is that you feel today, God wants to hear from you. When we take our fears, pain, discomfort, and joys to God in prayer, our relationship is strengthened.
We sing and dance in gratefulness for our faith and knowledge of God’s presence with us.
Prayers of thanksgiving for you and your life.
-Rev. Marta Wheeler
Omaha St. Paul Benson
Twenty-four hours of Sky Gazing
Once the invigorating sun
ascends over the horizon
subdued colors of pink and yellow
suddenly brighten before
dispersing in the sky.
After thunderheads arise high in
the sky we know a smidgeon of
how vulnerable all of humanity is
as nature shows her power.
Whilst walking in winds so fierce you
must brace yourself and hold on to
small kids and pets, the scalp is massaged
as hair is blown this way and that.
The dome of welcoming azure skies
low winds and bright sun, warms our skin
infusing us with the calming, vast,
love of our incredible God.
Focusing on fluffy clouds we see
creatures floating in new formations
and toss troubles aside until the sun
sets and then see that the Sky does not lie.
God’s amazing grace is the reality!
The moon floats from one horizon to the
other, pulling the tides high and low,
while constellations guide the wanderers
and bring us all back into alignment.