Gratitude

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I read Psalm 3 last night and a couple of points caught my attention. The Psalm is as follows:

3 A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN HE FLED FROM ABSALOM HIS SON.

1 O LORD, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God. Selah
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the LORD,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O LORD!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
(The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)

The first thing is buried in the middle of the Psalm, in verse 5: “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.” He slept and awoke again because the Lord sustained him. It seems so simple, so ordinary, and yet shows something about David that I wish were truer of me – he was grateful for everything that God did for him. Even awaking to a new morning inspired David’s gratitude. This is the heart of St. Francis’ joy and his teaching; he saw everything as a gift of God and tried to always respond with a heart of gratitude and joy.

This is all the more remarkable because of the second thing I noticed: David wrote this Psalm at the time when Absalom, his son, was inciting a rebellion and trying to displace David as king. David must have had a lot on his mind when he sat down to write what we came to know as the Psalm 3. Running for his life, his government in danger of being toppled, he could find it in himself to stop and write down his gratitude to God both for a good night’s sleep and the sustenance that brought him to the dawn of a new day. I wonder how many of us would be capable, and grateful, enough to do the same?

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on January 5, 2004 7:04 PM.

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