Well, I'm back at school for my last semester as an undergraduate. It is really a bittersweet feeling-- and due to some unhappy circumstances at the end of last semester, I was very anxious about returning. For comfort, I had been working my way through the book of 2 Chronicles as well as the book of Psalms each night before bed. One night, not long ago, I prayed that God would give me the strength, courage, and grace to return to school and put things right. Then I opened my bible to this Psalm, Psalm 51:
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your steadfast mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgement. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give you a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar."
Because I had strayed far from Him in the dark times of the past few months, I was finally broken. And because I came to God with my fears, my praises, and my sadness, He comforted me with words and actions. Praise the Lord, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever!
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