Sunday, September 16, 2007

Psalm 16

Keep me safe, O God, for I take refuge in Thee.
I said to the LORD, "Thou art my Lord;
I have no good besides Thee."
As for the saints who are in the earth,
They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who have bartered for another
god will be multiplied;
I shall not pour out their libations of blood,
Nor shall I take their names upon my lips.
The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
Thou dost support my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to hell;
Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
Thou wilt make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is fullness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.

This morning I wrote this paraphrase of Psalm 16:

Keep me safe--care for me, take care of me, protect my body, my heart, and my mind. Keep me safe from people who wish to harm me, accidents, tragedy, rejection, and brokenheartedness. Keep me safe from myself in the ways I speak to and care for my body, mind, and heart...I like to abuse myself...we all do, in our own painful and personal ways. Keep me safe, for You are wiser and mightier than I, and full of love. I am not full of love, but I want to be. Because I know these two facts: You are full of love, and I am not, I take refuge in You.
I have no good besides You. I choose You as my God.
I delight in your people--they are an example to me in their brightest moments, and empathetic in their darkest. You have surrounded me with your people and they teach me about your love over and over by loving imperfect me. I learn how to love over and over by loving imperfect them.
Your people give me hope for heaven.
I reject all that rejects You.
My full inheritance is Yahweh, my support, my provision, and pathmaker.
I follow Him and am overjoyed that my life path has led me to His beautiful presence. I love my inheritance and want no other. God's presence is joyful and beautiful and I am overwhelmingly grateful for all God is to me.
Every day I have chosen to set God before me, every moment; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
I am joyful because of You, and I rejoice. You care for my body, heart, mind, and soul and will never abandon me to evil, Godless darkness; nor will you allow me, your beloved, to be fully destroyed.
You will make known to me the path of life, which we walk together but existentially alone, small galaxies flinging light out into the universe, towards each other but each on its own path. Gravity may pull us closer to, or trajectory further from, each other but essentially we are on individual paths, alone with You. My path is delightful to me because You are there. Though my path winds over high mountain passes or deep into the dark earth, you travel before, behind, and within me. In your presence my joy is full. You reach out your right hand towards me and I am complete.

In addition to this paraphrase, I wrote a little regarding my thoughts on this Psalm:

Life's experiences and griefs are not burdens, but merely the landscape of our paths. Our path leads us where it will and we cannot change the bend of it, but we can walk one day at a time and try to learn what we may, set God before us every day, and seek His protection. He asks us to walk some treacherous paths. Sometimes we can choose them and sometimes we cannot, but I believe His purpose and wisdom to be wholly good and full of beauty, so I follow Him. His presence fills me with joy on even my darkest way. Sometimes the way seems so dark that the joy is not tangible. It is there.


Tonya said...

Beautiful paraphrase. Any time I paraphrase something it is so not pretty. :-) God has given you an incredible gift with words! Thanks for encouraging me this morning.

Lynne Reside said...

Hey Melissa - it's your Auntie Lynne at 3:30 am - don't even ask! I love your paraphrase of Psalm 16. I would like to print that up to put up on my wall at work - can you email it to me - I don't know how to print it off the blog. Send it to Thanks - Love you