Instructions for Assembly

Psalms 4-6

Someone once said that silence is golden. If you believe that you are probably blessing my name these days because I haven't posted anything for several days.

Well, consider the silence broken.

Truth is, last week was the big move. I am now in my own apartment once again—sort of. Beginning basically from scratch is a huge task. There are so many details to look after—right down to borrowing a screwdriver so that I could assemble the cabinet that holds the television.

I'm quite proud of myself. I don't assemble things. I have trouble following written instructions. Show me what needs to happen and I'll do it, but read a manual…? Happily the instructions for the cabinet came with pictures which certainly helped to get all the pieces in order with all the required screws, nails and fixtures attached.

Following instructions can be a challenge for many of us. Before God sent his written word, he spoke much more visually than he does now that we have the Word of God in print. That must have been totally cool for those who were visually oriented, and totally frustrating for those who needed to read it to follow it.

Oddly enough I do better at God's instruction manual than I do with operating a "whatchmacallit"  or instructions on how to assemble a "thingyme."  This morning I could read the words of David in the psalms, hold them to my heart and know exactly what the psalmist was saying.

Here are a few of the nuts, bolts, screws, and pieces from this morning:

"…the Lord will hear when I call to him" (4:3) Instruction: Call on me—I'm all ears.

"Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord" (4:6). Instruction: Seek my face.

"You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (4:7, 8). Instruction: Relax, I've got your back.

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation" (5:3). Instruction: Talk to me first thing in the day before you mess up.

"Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies—make straight your way before me" (5:8). Instruction: Follow my lead because if you don't disaster is just waiting to happen.

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield" (5:11, 12). Instruction: Dance a happy dance.

"Be merciful to me, Lord…Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love…The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer" (6:2, 4, 9). Instruction: I'm 24/7—always just a cry away.

When I finished assembling my television cabinet, there were some screws and nails left over (don't worry, I used all that the instructions told me to use!). Isn't it great that God always includes "extras" that we can never exhaust no matter how long we live or what circumstances may cross our paths—we'll always have more than enough information to complete our life's task.


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