Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:
who forgives all your iniquities,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from destruction,
who crowns you with loving kindness
and tender mercies." (Psalm 103:1-4).
What a loving, tender-hearted and compassionate God we have. Every day He crowns me with loving kindnesses. Every day He crowns you with loving kindnesses.
Do I hear you say, "When was the last time God crowned me?" Stop and think about it for a moment. God crowns you with His loving kindnesses through people around you. When your baby or your little child smiles at you, in fact when anyone smiles at you, you are crowned with God's loving kindness. Every time your husband embraces you, you receive another one of God's loving kindnesses. Every time he helps you with the dishes or baths the children, it is God's blessing to you. When someone says an encouraging word to you, it is God's loving kindness to you. He has not forgotten about you. You are graven on the palms of His hands. He has forgiven your sins. He has healed you manytimes.
When you sit down at your table and eat the bountiful food God daily provides for you, it is His loving kindness to you. When you reap the harvest from the garden you have planted, it is His loving kindness. When you look up at the clouds and are reminded of His faithfulness, you are crowned. You look at the mountains, the ocean, the undulating hills and trees and you are blessed that He has given you all these things to freely enjoy. And you don't have to pay a cent. The world is yours to enjoy, no matter how little money you have in your pocket!
Start looking for God's loving kindnesses. They are all around you. They are happening to you throughout the day. Instead of focusing on your problems and disappointments, look out for God's blessings. Learn to be aware of them. Do not forget one of His benefits. Not one! Gratefully thank the Lord for every tiny one. I am starting to do this more and more. In fact, when I read this Scripture about being crowned I was very convicted. I realized that I had been taking God's blessings for granted. Now I seek to thank the Lord for crowning me every time I receive a blessing-a hug, a smile, a word of encouragement, the blessingof children around me and the joy they give with their antics and funny things they say. The blessings of God's creation-the flowers, the birds, the butterflies and the beautiful colors of the fall which I am beholding as I look out of my window now. It makes such a difference to your life when you become grateful for every little crowning from the Lord.
Because God is crowning me through His people (and maybe even those who are not His people), am I letting Him use me to be his vehicle through which he can crown others? This is a challenge for us, isn't it?
Recently my daughter, Serene faced a difficult trial, a little more difficult because her husband was overseas fulfilling a contract with the military. In the middle of being weighed down by the problem, her car ran out of gas in the middle of a busy lane of traffic. She had all the children in the car and the car wouldn't budge another inch! She put on her blinkers and decided to call the police, but her phone suddenly went dead! She was stuck!
She cried out to the Lord. He nudged her to try the car again. Miraculously it started and she managed, weaving through traffic, to get to the side of the road. She was still stranded, but then God showed her His loving kindness. People stopped their cars to help her. She had more help than she could use. Some were people she would normally be scared to talk to.
One big burly guy with tattoos all over him drove to a service station and bought gas for her and filled up her car. She knew God was sending His angels to her. Not only did she get gas for her car, but the loving kindness of strangers and this big, scary tattooed "angel" caused Serene to feel God's loving kindness pouring all over her. She forgot all her problems and filled the van with praises the rest of her journey.
We can be used by the Lord to crown our husband, our children and many others with the loving kindness of the Lord. Let's be on the offensive to give love-hugs, smiles, affirmation, encouragement and practical help wherever needed. What a blessing to be the instrument of God's loving kindness.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, of Above Rubies
"Thank you, dear Father, for constantly crowning me with your loving kindnesses. Help me to be aware of them and full of gratefulness to you. And please anoint me to be a messenger of your loving kindnesses to others around me. Amen."
I will not forget a single blessing!