The reason that this post has taken so long to come is because my wife and I, over the last 3 months, have been privileged to be able to travel by car to a number of places in Australia, enjoying the amazing sights and visiting many good friends.
Some have asked us, “What have been some highlights of your trip?” A tough question because there have been many. But as I read Psalm 1 again today, I was reminded of one highlight of our trip that stands out and that is, the people we spent time with along the way! Not just any people, but people we have known 10, 20, 30, 40 years. People who through all the ups and downs of their lives have remained faithful to God. People who have endeavored to live the life described by the psalmist in Psalm 1, as challenging as that is at times. Inspiring people, encouraging people, serving people, humble people, enduring people, giving people, fruit-filled people. People who daily make a choice to live their lives according to the truths of the Bible and seek to remain faithful to the God they love and serve.
They are the people that the psalmist describes as “Blessed” or as those to whom “delight comes” because they “follow God’s ways…Their pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of ‘I Am’. Meditating each and every moment in the revelation of light.” (Psalm 1:1-2 The Passion Translation)
They aren’t perfect (none of us are!), but they are “standing firm, like a tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss; bearing fruit in every season of their lives…never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever plentiful.” (Psalm 1:3 The Passion Translation)
People like the couple we have known since the 1980s from training days who have so faithfully given their lives to the Lord in a number of countries ministering to those with substance abuse issues and other addictions and who have seen God do many miracles of grace.
Then the couple who went to one of the toughest and most unresponsive countries in the world, serving the people there for over 30 years, and who now continue (back in Australia) to seek to bless others and challenge us concerning taking the gospel to the nations.
Or the couples who live in small rural towns faithfully encouraging the believers there and reaching out to the broken ones of their district, offering love and hospitality.
And this was just a few of those we had the privilege to spend time with.
Of course, we have also met other people along the way, but “how different…the lovers of God! The Lord watches over them as they move forward.” (Psalm 1:6 The Passion Translation)
So what has been the highlight of our journey? The people of God we have met who are seeking to live their lives worthy of the calling they have received from God.
Father, we desire to be those who are “blessed” by you. Thank you for Psalm 1 which confronts us “with the basic choice that alone gives reality to worship; with the divine truth that must inform it; and with the ultimate judgement that looms up beyond it.” (Kidner – see references # 29). Our lives are too short not to listen and respond to the wisdom taught here. Teach us your ways that result in fruitfulness as we read and apply your Word to our everyday lives. Amen.