Sunday, February 5

Psalm 112:1-10

Usually when I’m on Instagram, I can scroll right past the adver- tisements. I’m a proud cynic when it comes to a beauty cream’s promises to make me look twenty-five again, or a newfangled dog brush’s guarantee to keep my golden retriever’s hair from rolling like tumbleweeds across my living room floor. But when it comes to ads for writing classes that will help me transform my novel-in-prog- ress that’s so dear to my heart? I happily hand over my credit card number, full of hope. I want that so much!

When I first read this psalm, I’m afraid my cynic nose smelled something phony. Really, psalmist? You promise oodles of grand- kids and a fat bank account in exchange for following God? A life of being honored for doing justice and being generous? I’ve seen the truth for myself: the wicked don’t always come in last. They’re often strutting all over social media, with thousands of followers cheering on their hate with crosses around their necks.

But it’s in the Bible! What’s going on?

What if the psalmist is only speaking to us in the language we speak, in the way we think, in order to tell us something super important? Maybe its message about living merciful, gracious, and generous lives in God is really part of God’s holy path to inner peace, the kind of God-happiness that we’re meant for. Perhaps happiness won’t just get us through whatever tough circumstances we face but will help us get through them with joy. That’s what I really want, down deep, for my loved ones to be okay and for me to live each day with joy no matter what occurs.

Maybe I need to read the psalm again, this time with my hands unclenched and heart wide open.


How have I shown mercy or generosity this week?


Lord, help me slow down enough today to examine my actions in light of the happiness you want for me. Amen.

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