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The Emotion of Joyful Gratitude

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Ps Kit Ho

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)

「我一生一世必有恩惠慈愛隨著我;我且要住在耶和華的殿中,直到永遠。」(詩篇23: 6)

At the End of Life, We are a Different Person

What is the destiny of your life?  How do you know if you have arrived, or on the way there? Here the end of the poem gives us a picture, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. That is our destiny, we have gone through the dark valley of the shadow of death, we have faced our enemies.  We are trained to know the Lord and understand ourselves.  We have followed all our way through.  

At the end, where do we find ourselves?  What is it like dwelling in the house of the Lord: We find ourselves a different person: we have become obedient, submissive, have a gentle heart. We become mature at heart, freedom in our mind, filled with the Spirit. 

We find ourselves becoming overcomers, for we have experienced victories of the Lord in all the storms of life.  We have gone through the dark valley without fear. Darkness has become light. We learn the Lord is always there, and He is real to me, everyday forever closer. We become a transparent person, there is nothing to hide from, nothing to fear of. We have a dedicated love for the Lord, and for that reason, a dedicated love for the world, and people around.  We do not become everybody,  there is none to copy, to be jealous of, none to compete, we become ourselves in maturity and we enjoy being so.  

There is a deep sense of security of who we are.  We are so unique, and at the same time, so much like our Father. Our heart is full of gratitude, and life is so fulfilled. There is nothing to regret, nothing to want more. All life experiences are meant to teach us to know Him deeply, recognize Him more clearly.  

Two things for sure: the goodness and mercy of the Lord.

Do not envy for the rainbows of other’s life, there must be storms that they have gone through. Many of the good things come in life are the result of hardship, like a pearl is the pain of the pearl mother that suffers for the sand grain embraced within.  When the pearl grows larger, rounder, smoother, its capacity to hold the suffering, while embracing it with nutrition also grow.  All the fruit, in order to be ripened, must suffer the heat of the sun, before becoming delicious.  While the salmon in order to fulfil its destiny, it has to swim back to the upper stream to lay its eggs, with its body almost all hurt by the up-swimming. Each of our lives are results of God’s creation of love. Each is to experience and live out His goodness.  Our being is to express our gratitude and worship of Him

However, now looking forward, the poet does not count how many the dark valleys or enemies he has gone through.  There two things he knows for sure: that is, the goodness and mercy of the Lord.  Compared with them, everything else seems distant, like your childhood is distant from you now, so much as your marriage fights, and all-out attempt to make life a success, or the hardship of raising up kids, or give time to listen to other people. At the end of life, all seems so far away.Now only two things stay in your memories: the goodness and kindness of the Lord. Even in Parkinson’s syndrome, the goodness and kindness of the Lord stays.

All these time, it seems that the sheep is closely following the Lord, but unnoticeably, he is followed by the Lord’s goodness and kindness, which never forsakes him, fails him.  Goodness, is the summary of the Lord’s pastoring love of his sheep. The good God does good for his sheep. Kindness, actually is his unforsaken relation, that is loving kindness, steadfast love.  Like the cup that the Lord prepared for us in the Lord’s supper: “This is the blood of my new covenant”, which works good until we see Him in heaven.

Walking with the Lord until the destiny, or even on the other side of the glorious, what the sheep recollects, is just thanksgiving and praises.  Thanksgiving – He is all good to me.  Praises – He is Good, forever.  That is why during that days, all saints will surround the throne of God keep on praising, day and night.

At the end, What Worth our Counts

When we count our blessings of life, we find out what is especially important to our lives.  That would not be a certain savory dish, some proud-of dress we put on, or our spacious residence, or electronic devices, even though we spent so much thoughts on these things.  But at the end, they do not worth our counts.  They just fade away in our lives. What really matters to our lives are relationship. Who has been good to us, and whom we love so dearly.  But even more importantly, those characters of us which were transformed because of painful experience.  

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,  that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30: 11-12)

If we have not gone through the darkest hours of night, we won’t celebrate at the coming of dawn.  If we have not walked through the dark valley, we won’t see the presence of the Lord, beyond our feelings.  In all seasons of life, be it peaceful or stormy, He is with me and takes me through. Life is full of glorious hope.M