From Kayla Peck
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…(Psalm 103:2)
Wednesday: the halfway point between the beginning of the week and the weekend. Whatever refreshed me on the previous weekend feels miles away and the next day to sleep in past my alarm still feels out of reach. There are three more full days of classes, meetings, and deadlines looming over me. By Wednesday, the time I’ve set aside to be still gets swept away because of the extra long delay on the MBTA, a last-minute paper I forgot to write, or the groceries I need to get if I want any semblance of a normal dinner. I just don’t seem to have it all together on Wednesdays and to be frank, it’s often hard for me to find God in the busyness. Perhaps you know this feeling?
If there were ever a wellspring of life-giving words for Wednesdays, Psalm 103 might be it. In this hymn, it’s like the Psalmist is sitting down across from you after a bad day and reminding to keep the bigger pictures in mind: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits… (v. 2)
God forgives your iniquity, heals your diseases, redeems you, crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, and satisfies you even on those hectic Wednesdays of life (see v. 3 – 5).
And how might we know this to be true? The Psalmist points us back to the evidence, to how the Israelites escaped the oppression in Egypt through God’s work in Moses and his people. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel (v. 7). The Psalmist remembers, however, that the Israelites didn’t always follow the commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. They often were dissatisfied with their current circumstances, expressing anger and distrust over their wanderings in the desert (e.g., Exodus 16: 2-3), and yet, even in those Wednesday moments when the Israelites could not remember God’s promises, the Lord was there. The Lord showed up!
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (v. 8) …For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us (v. 11-12).
The Psalmist remembers how God forgives not once but a multitude of times for our distrust. His compassion is unending! His love is unfathomable! Just as the Psalmist recalls how God forgave and provided for the Israelites, we should have faith that God can do the same in our lives. God is present even in our busiest Wednesdays of life.
If you’re just having one of those days, then do as the Psalmist does: remember how God has provided for you in the past. While the Psalmist provides many of God’s benefits, just try to focus on one. Sit with it. Meditate on it. Give God thanks for it, and may God move in your life as you remember God’s compassion, even on the busiest of days.
I live in Somerville and spend most of my Wednesdays happily attending classes at Boston University School of Theology.