Wednesday, I got that dreaded call from my kids on their way to school: “We’ve been in a wreck, but we’re okay.”
As I was about to get ready for work, I changed gears, threw on clothes, grabbed my glasses, and was out the door. I spent the morning interacting with the police, tow truck driver, auto body shop, insurance company and adjustor, discovering the car is in fact totaled.
What can I do but praise God? Every day after they leave the house, I pray for their safety. And that’s what He supplied. Thank you, Lord. That’s been the repeated refrain of my mouth and heart the rest of this week. Thank you, Lord. And where better to say it than on my blog that’s intended to offer praise to God while remembering all that He has done for us. Praise You, Lord — in the big and the small moments, in your moment by moment care and love for us.
I’ve been reading a book by Tim Keller called Prayer. Keller writes about Martin Luther’s description on how to meditate on the Word:
… Luther describes how to do it. He uses the metaphor of a garland. ‘I divide each [biblical] command into four parts, thereby fashioning a garland of four strands. That is I think of each commandment as first, instruction, which is really what it is intended to be, and consider what the Lord God demands of me so earnestly. Second, I turn it into a thanksgiving; third, a confession; and fourth, a prayer.’ This turns every biblical text into ‘a school text, a song book, a penitential book, and prayer book.’
Keller goes on to describe it:
Once we have drawn out the ‘instruction’ — put the teaching of the text in a nutshell — then we ask how this teaching particularly leads us to praise and thank God, how it leads us to repent and confess sin, and how it prompts us to appeal to God in petition and supplication…. Luther is teaching us how to generate a small but rich spectrum of insights that can be immediately lifted to God as prayer.
Keller offers even more from Luther (pages 89-96) which has been beneficial to me in avoiding distraction and focusing on the Word and prayer. It’s very practical and beneficial.
What I appreciated was that morning, having meditated (as Luther suggested) on just the first sentence of Psalm 23 — “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want” (v.1, NAS) — and all the places it led me (John 10:1-21), I could drive to the wreck knowing that the Lord is our Shepherd, that He is leading our paths and providing for all our needs. That with Him, we lack nothing and have all we need. It was peace-giving.
I’m thankful for the way God’s Word provides us with truth to take into our days. I might have missed the peace He wanted to give me had I skipped this essential part of my morning and not had my mind already set on Him.
So I say again, thank you, Lord! You are faithful to us, leading and guiding us as our Shepherd, supplying all we need, actually being all we need. Thank you, Lord.